Summer brings to mind eating outside, pasta salads and, of course, cooking something on the grill. I usually leave the grilling to my husband but when our culinary partner, Caytlin McCleery, visited our kitchen a while back and shared some of her grilling secrets, I was inspired to give it a go, but with something a bit different.
These Grilled Burgers Stuffed with Gruyere and Havarti Cheeses hit the spot for my first grilling adventure. You can use whatever cheese you prefer, but we used a dill havarti and Gruyere. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a good melting cheese. For the beef, I prefer a leaner meat, so I went with a 90/10 ground beef. However, to keep the burgers together I added an egg and some breadcrumbs.
Now, I would love to tell you this went perfectly when we first made these in the kitchen…they did not! So let me pass along what we learned.
Tips For Burger Success
- When you form the burgers with the cheese in the middle, put them back into the refrigerator for at least an hour or more if possible before you are ready to grill. We had problems with the meat falling apart even though we added some binding ingredients. I think more time in the refrigerator would have helped.
- Also, ensure that your grill is not too hot. Ours had a bit of a flame going, which also made it difficult to keep the burgers together and to cook them evenly and melt the cheeses. I would advise cooking them over a medium heat to make sure the beef is cooked and the cheeses melt.
Now that you have the tips of what you should do, I’m happy to tell you that the recipe itself is fairly easy (and tasty) and at the end of the day we had some nice stuffed burgers.
Preparing the Stuffed Burgers
Cook the onion until translucent and then add the bacon, ensuring that it cooks thoroughly. It will take some time and the onion will almost be caramelized. Once the bacon is cooked, add the garlic and thyme leaves to season the mixture. Make sure that it is allowed to completely cool before adding it to the beef.
Once the beef mixture is combined, work quickly to form four hamburger patties, flattening them as much as possible. Take one-quarter of the cheese mixture and place it in the center of the burger.
Then, carefully bring the hamburger meat up to cover the cheese. The burger will be more of a ball that you’ll flatten out carefully between the palms of your hands. Do this same procedure with the remaining hamburger and cheese and then place your burgers into the refrigerator.
While they are chilling, make the burger sauce. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor (minus the gherkins) and mix until combined. Stir in the chopped gherkins, move the mixture into a small bowl and place in the refrigerator.
Once the burgers are chilled and the grill is at a good temperature, place them on grill and cook on each side to get good grill marks. Remove each burger from the heat, place them on a sheet of foil, tent the foil around each one and then place them back on the grill. Cook the burger to temperature (the foil allows the cheese to melt).
When the burgers are cooked, take them off the grill and quickly grill the brioche buns.
Using the Spatula Spreader, spread the burger sauce on both sides of the bun and then layer the lettuce, tomato and burger on the bottom bun. Top with the French fried onions and the top bun. We recommend cutting in half to serve.
Once we had figured out the meat issue (falling apart) we were able to regroup and come out with a wonderful and tasty burger. These Grilled Burgers Stuffed with Gruyere and Havarti Cheeses had amazing flavor in the meat itself from the caramelized onion and bacon. The cheese melted nicely and the burger sauce was amazing. I’ll be making these again for any burger going on the grill. All-in-all it was a successful venture into the grilling world.
Grilled Burgers Stuffed With Gruyere and Havarti
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 ounces bacon, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 1 1/4 pounds ground beef (90/10)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg yolk
- Salt, for seasoning
- Ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup havarti dill cheese, grated
- 1 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 12 basil leaves
- 1 cup baby gherkins, finely chopped
- 4 brioche buns, split
- 1 small Boston lettuce, leaves separated
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
- French-fried onions
- Over medium heat, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the bacon and cook thoroughly. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and cook for 2 additional minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, the cooled onion mix, panko and egg yolk. Season with some salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the Gruyere and havarti cheeses and then divide evenly into four piles.
- Divide the beef mixture evenly into four sections and form into patties. Take one of the cheese piles and form into a ball. Press the cheese ball into the center of one of the beef patties and then bring the meat around the cheese to cover it. Lightly press down on the beef patty with the palm of your hand to flatten it. Repeat this process with each patty and cheese pile.
- Place the beef patties on a plate and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill.
- In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and basil and mix together until completely combined. Stir in the baby gherkins and put the mixture into a small bowl, cover and chill until ready to use.
- When ready, grill the burgers on each side on low heat for approximately 3-4 minutes. Take the burgers off of the grill and wrap them individually in foil and place back on the grill for 4-6 minutes to melt the cheese center.
- Grill the brioche buns, split side down, until toasted.
- Spread the burger sauce on the bottom and top of each bun. On the bottom bun, place the lettuce leaf, followed by the tomato, burger and fried onions.