Recently, I had the opportunity to get my hands on Budweiser’s new line of barbecue sauces and marinades. I got a free sample of the entire line and as part of my taste test, I crafted a recipe to enter into Budweiser’s Blogger Recipe Challenge!
I wanted my entry for the burger category to feature something not often associated with barbecue sauces to really put them to the test. That’s how I came up with what I’m calling the Red, White, and Blue Burger, which is grilled red onion, sauteed white mushrooms, and a 1/2 pound restaurant style beef burger patty stuffed with blue cheese.
At first glance some people might think that blue cheese and barbecue sauce really just don’t go together, but they’d be wrong,. There’s something surprisingly great about the tangy blue cheese offset by the sweet smokiness of barbecue sauce. Stuffing the burger with the blue cheese allows the cheese to melt into the meat as well as deliver juicy flavors in every bite. The grilled red onion adds a sweet, sharp crispiness, while the mushrooms provide an earthiness that ties the whole dish together.
I used both the Budweiser Steak and Burger Sauce and the Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce. I used the Steak and Burger Sauce as a marinade for the ground beef by working it right into the mix. The Steak and Burger sauce had qualities of sweet barbecue and a peppery Worcestershire based steak sauce, which worked well for seasoning the meat. I then topped the burger with the Sweet and Spicy sauce because I wanted to balance the saltiness of the blue cheese with some sweetness as well as the richness of it with the spiciness from the sauce. Of course, you could easily swap out the blue cheese for cheddar or something more classical or use any of the other sauces as well. I thought the end result was really successful as a recipe that shows the versatility of barbecue and steak/burger sauces.
The Red, White, and Blue Stuffed Burger Recipe
Half-pound burger stuffed with blue cheese and topped with barbecue sauce.
- 1/2 pound of 80/20 ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of Budweiser Steak and Burger Sauce
- 1 large slice of red onion
- 1 or 2 oz of mild blue cheese (or any other cheese that speaks to you)
- 4 oz. white mushrooms
- 1/2 tablespoon of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of your favorite Budweiser BBQ Sauce
- 1 large hamburger bun
- Large bowl
- Tablespoon measurement
- Cutting board
- Frying/Saute pan
- Grill spatula
- First things first, get a half pound of ground beef, add 1/2 tablespoon of Budweiser Steak and Burger Sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and mix everything together by hand. Don’t mash the meat, but instead just use your fingers in a churning motion to loosely mix it. Form it into a ball, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This helps the flavors to incorporate into the meat and the salt to break down some of the proteins, which will help the burger retain moisture later.
- While the meat marinates, get the other ingredients ready. Peel and slice a couple of thick pieces of onion across the center so that you have a flat disc. Wash and slice up about 4 oz. of mushroom or however many you like on your burger. Lastly, slice and crumble 1 or 2 ounces of mild blue cheese. You might be tempted to use a lot of cheese, but in this case because blue cheese has such a strong flavor, try and keep it light.
- In a saute pan, melt half a tablespoon of butter and place the mushrooms in the pan on medium heat. Try not to overlap the mushrooms because they’ll steam instead of take on a nice color (I learned that little trick from Julia Child). Sautee the mushrooms on each side for roughly 5 minutes or until they get some golden brown color. Remove the mushrooms and set them aside for later.
- When the meat is ready, divide the ball into two equal halves and flatten each side into a thin patty. The meat will pull and contract while cooking, so make the burger patties a little wider than you want them to be to start. Place some blue cheese in the center of one patty and use the other patty to cover up the cheese.
- Press down on the edges to seal the two patties together with the cheese inside. Shape the edges so that the patty looks like a uniform burger and no seams are visible.
- Use a little olive oil and brush or spread it on the onion slice(s). Get the grill super hot (when I can’t hold my hand in the air over the grill for more than a few seconds, I know it’s hot enough) and get the onion slices on the grill before the burger. They’ll take longer to cook, so start them first. Grill them so that they take on some char and color, but don’t burn. Depending on the grill and heat, they might take 6-8 minutes per side. Be careful moving them around or you’ll lose them through the grates! Grill tongs or a nice flat spatula might work best.
- When the onions are about halfway done, use a spatula to place the stuffed burger patty on an open part of the very hot grill. Once down, don’t touch it for at least 5-6 minutes. After 5 or 6 minutes, carefully flip the burger and let it cook for another 4 minutes. This might seem like a long time to cook a burger, but since it’s a 1/2 pound burger stuffed with cheese, it needs the extra time. Do not press down on the burger with a spatula. This won’t speed up the cooking, but will instead just dry out the burger or also cause the cheese to leak out.
- If you like toasted burger buns, toast them on the grill for 2 minutes or so as the burger finishes. Then slide the patty on the bun, top it with a grilled red onion slice, sauteed mushrooms, and lastly, put your favorite Budweiser BBQ sauce on the top bun to finish it off. I used Sweet and Spicy, but any of the sauces would work.
- Put that top bun on the burger and take a bite featuring sweet, smoky, and savory flavors across the board that all come together to make a uniquely delicious burger!
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