What’s summer without a great burger now and again? And how about an upgrade that puts you in adult territory by incorporating a rich taleggio cheese. When combined with the other ingredients, the ground meat patties become light and airy allowing all of those flavors to dance a jig on your taste buds.
These deeply savory burgers were inspired from a recipe by Ignacio Mattos, chef of Estela in New York and author of a book by the same name. Instead of using fish sauce like Mattos, Courtney Hill from Milk Street opted for similarly salty and umami-rich Worcestershire sauce. It is mixed with rosemary and garlic to create a rich base. These seasonings, combined with a simple, yet sinful, taleggio cheese sauce, make these burgers richer, more elegant and far more flavorful than your average cheeseburger.
As far as buns, brioche buns or Kaiser rolls are recommended, as they better resist turning soggy than standard hamburger buns. Keep it simple with toppings using only sliced tomato and/or pickled red onions to balance the burgers’ richness. We used both although I never got around to pickling those onions.
We found that our cheese sauce was silky smooth after simmering with the heavy cream and therefore did not need to be strained. Instead of adding black pepper, we used white to keep that creamy color.
Don’t put the cheese sauce directly onto the cooked patties because it will slide off. A better approach is to spoon the sauce onto the cut sides of each bun and allow the bread to slightly soak it in.
Garlic-Rosemary Burgers with Taleggio Cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 oz. taleggio cheese, rind removed, cut into ½-inch chunks
- ¼ cup worcestershire sauce
- 4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
- 2½ Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
- 1½ pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 4 buns, split and toasted
- In a small saucepan over medium, heat the cream until just simmering. Stir in the cheese, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand until the cheese is softened and partially melted, about 20 minutes, quickly stirring once halfway through.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the Worcestershire sauce, garlic and rosemary. In a medium bowl, combine the beef with 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire mixture and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, then mix gently until the seasonings are evenly incorporated.
- Divide the meat into 4 portions and shape each into a patty about 4½ inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick.
- In a 12-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until lightly smoking. Add the patties and cook for 3 minutes, spooning 1 teaspoon of the Worcestershire mixture over each.
- Using a wide metal spatula, flip the patties and continue to cook for another 3 minutes, again spooning 1 teaspoon of the sauce onto each.
- Continue to flip and cook, brushing with the remaining sauce mixture, until the patties are well browned on both sides and the centers reach 125°F for medium-rare or 130°F for medium, another 2 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
- (This step may not be necessary if your cheese mixture is velvety smooth like ours was.) While the burgers rest, set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Stir the cream-cheese mixture thoroughly, then pour through the strainer, pressing with a silicone spatula to force the cheese through; the sauce should be smooth and creamy after straining. Stir in ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of cheese sauce onto the cut sides of both halves of each bun. Place a burger on each bottom bun half, then cover with the toppings.
- Serve the remaining cheese sauce on the side.
By Courtney Hill from Milk Street