December 01, 2010

Another New Pan, and a Great Burger

Right before we left for Thanksgiving, another early Christmas present arrived:  A Lodge porcelain enameled cast-iron grill pan.   We didn't get a chance to use it before we left for the holiday, but I made sure to use it at the first opportunity once we were back home.  That opportunity ended up being Sunday lunch.

I decided to break in the new pan by cooking some burgers, and decided to make something a bit more special than the average burger.  Rather than cook up a burger and top it with bacon, cheese and so forth, I decided to mix as many of the garnishes as possible with the hamburger and incorporate them directly into the hamburger patties.

There are lots of recipes around for this sort of burger.  Sometimes they're called stuffed burgers, though often those recipes refer specifically to some ingredients (cheese, or mushroom, or jalapenos, or whatever) enclosed in meat, either by wrapping the ingredients in meat and then pressing the meat into a patty, or by sandwiching the ingredients between two patties which are then pinched together.  Another version has shown up in Cook's Country and some of the other America's Test Kitchen products, variably named "All-American Burgers" and "All-in-One Burgers."  Here's the recipe I used for mine.

Note:  Normally I prefer my burgers medium-rare, but the presence of the other ingredients can interfere with even cooking at low temperatures, so with these burgers, it is safer to go for medium doneness. 

Jeffrey's Stuffed Bacon Cheeseburgers

yield = 3 servings

1       pound 85% lean ground chuck
2/3    cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6       strips bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
3       teaspoons spicy brown mustard
2       teaspoons A-1 Steak Sauce
1/2    teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4    teaspoon table salt
1/4    teaspoon garlic powder
1/8    teaspoon onion powder
3       sandwich buns
         lettuce, tomato slices, ketchup or other favorite garnishes

Add the ground chuck, shredded cheese, chopped bacon, brown mustard, A-1 sauce, pepper, salt, garlic powder and onion powder to a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly, divide into three equal portions and lightly pack the meat mixture into patties about one inch thick.

Cook on a prepared, heated grill or grill pan.  Cook 5-6 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes, then serve on buns.  Garnish to preference.

I should note that the grill pan performed wonderfully.   Lodge pans come pre-seasoned, but I seasoned mine again the night before.  This paid off, because even with the sticky, melting cheese, the burgers didn't stick to the grill pan.  Unfortunately, the melted bits and fat that dripped off the cooking burgers did stick pretty badly to the pan, making it a bit of a pain to clean up, but that tends to be the case with new cast iron.  Based on my experience with my Lodge skillet, that shouldn't be a problem after I've used it enough times for the pan to become well-seasoned. 

Cleaning aside, the results were quite good.  Juli wasn't home when I made the burgers, but she warmed one up when she got home, and she said the flavor and texture were so good she had a hard time believing they were cooked on a grill pan.  While I'm not going to go that far - nothing really takes the place of actual, outdoor grilling - I was still quite pleased.  This is a welcome addition to my cookware collection, and I think I can probably ditch my George Foreman indoor grill at this point. 

No comments:

Post a Comment