For weeks, Shane's been asking me to pick up burgers when I'm at the grocery store. We eat so many burgers through the summer months though, that I really try to avoid starting that trend in March or April. I'd be all burgered out by July at that rate. But I caved when I sat down to make this week's menu. With 4 straight days of 70+ degree weather in the forecast, how could I not? The grill was beckoning, and not adding at least one fun burger to the menu just seemed mean considering how much Shane's been looking forward to them. He would have been perfectly happy if I'd picked up the premade frozen ones, but if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right! :)
Stuffed cheddar bacon cheeseburgers seemed like a very good place to start this year's burger affair. Bacon, cheddar, onions - they're some of my favorite burger toppings - and while I usually pile them on top of my burger after it's cooked, it turns out it's even more fun to stuff them inside of the patties before throwing them on the grill. I won't lie, I definitely feared we were going to wind up with cheese spilling out the sides of the burgers and making a giant mess on the grill, but it never happened. If you're careful to seal the sides of the patties well when you form them, it'll be smooth sailing. The cheese gets all melty and gooey inside with the salty bacon and scallions adding lots of flavor and color. These stuffed cheeseburgers would be a really fun change of pace for a summer barbecue, and if for some reason bacon and scallions aren't your thing, I don't see any reason you couldn't adapt and substitute your favorites!
Stuffed Cheddar Bacon Cheeseburgers
adapted from Sargento Cheese and Confections of a Foodie Bride
2 slices bacon
1 1/3 - 1 1/2 lb ground beef (I used 85% lean)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 scallion, minced
4 hamburger rolls
lettuce, tomato, onion (or whatever toppings you like)
In a skillet over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plate then crumble when cool enough to handle.
To make the burgers: Combine the ground beef, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce. Gently mix until combined, but don't overwork. Divide into 4 equal portions, then divide each of those portions in half. Form each portion into a thin patty. Top one of the patties with about 2 tablespoons of cheese, 1/4 of the crumbled bacon, and 1/4 of the minced scallion. Press a second patty over the filling and pinch the edges to seal completely. Gently shape into a burger, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Repeat to make 4 stuffed burgers. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each patty (this will keep the burgers from puffing and swelling in the center as they cook).
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (400-450 F). Oil the grates lightly (I use the tongs to hold a paper towel that's been dipped in oil and rub it over the grates). Place the burgers on the grill (the side with the indentation should be facing up) and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook for about 4-5 more minutes, or until they are cooked to your desired doneness.
Grill the rolls lightly, if desired, then serve the burgers on the rolls with your desired toppings.