Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bistro Style Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burgers with a Port and Caper Sauce



The first bite of this burger will transport you straight to hamburger heaven. You’ll never miss the bun when you taste the tangy blue cheese as it oozes out and pairs magically with the deep, rich port wine sauce. This heavenly burger creation is the brainchild of Gordon Hamersley of the acclaimed Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston and the recipe comes from his fabulous cookbook Bistro Cooking at Home. 

Photo from Amazon
Just when I though I didn’t need another bistro cookbook, I checked out a copy of Gordon Hamersley’s Bistro Cooking at Home from the library and the rest as they say is history. The recipes are sophisticated, yet easy-to-prepare comfort food and his book now sits proudly on my bookshelf shoulder to shoulder with Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. As a reviewer on Amazon commented, Gordon’s recipes are “unpretentious, friendly, practical & fabulous.”

Gordon Hamersley trained with Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison in Los Angles and later lived in Nice, France for a year, learning everything he could about French bistros. In 1987 he and his wife Fiona opened Hamersley’s Bistro, which serves homey, French-inspired bistro food, and quickly became one of Boston’s favorites. In 1995 Gordon received the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast. Numerous publications, including Zagat’s, have regularly ranked Hamersley’s Bistro among Boston’s finest.



A peppery arugula salad, dressed very lightly with balsamic vinaigrette, goes extremely well with the flavors of this burger. The original recipe called for using green peppercorns in brine as part of the sauce. As it happens, our market was out of green peppercorns and I didn’t have time to shop on line, so I had to come up with a substitute and capers seemed to be the logical choice. We always have a jar of capers in brine on hand as well as the salt packed capers. I used well rinsed salt packed capers and the juice of the brined variety for the green peppercorns and the sauce turned out beautifully. However, I am anxious to try the recipe as written as soon as I can find the green peppercorns. Hamersley’s recipe turned a simple American-style stuffed burger into a sophisticated, yet easy to prepare French bistro dish deeply flavored with a high-end restaurant quality sauce, certain to be served in our house many, many times to come.  



Bistro Style Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burgers with a Port and Caper Sauce - Adapted from Bistro Cooking at Home by Gordon Hamersley – serves 4

4 ounces blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola or other neutral flavored oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon capers (or green peppercorns if you can find them)
2 teaspoons brine from the capers (or from the green peppercorns)
1/3 cup port wine (I used tawny as the recipe did not specify, but regular port is fine too)
1/3 cup low fat, low salt beef stock
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Divide the blue cheese into 4 equal pieces and shape them into balls. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Wrap one portion of meat around each piece of cheese. Flatten the meat and cheese to form patties. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan until it is very hot. Add the hamburgers and cook over high heat until well browned on one side. Turn the burgers over and lower the heat to medium-high. Don’t worry if some of the cheese oozes out; it will just add flavor to the sauce. Continue cooking until the burgers are done to your liking, about 10 – 12 minutes total cooking time. Remove the burgers from the pan and let them rest in a warm place.

Discard the excess grease from the pan. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, for one minute, taking care not to let the shallot burn. Remove the pan from the heat and add the capers, caper brine, and port. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, scraping up any brown bits that have accumulated. Add the beef stock and continue to cook until the sauce has reduced by half again. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Place the burgers on plates, spoon the sauce over them, garnish with the parsley, and serve at once. Peppery arugula, dressed very lightly with balsamic vinaigrette, goes extremely well with the flavors of this burger.




This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Disclosure: The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for this review nor did I receive a complimentary copy of this cookbook. 

50 comments:

  1. Sam, this looks delicious. At home, we always eat the burgers without buns. The capers worked great and I also love the green peppercorns. Thanks for the headsup on this chef.

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  2. There was a funky little place in Michigan that served blue cheese burgers...we always loved them. What I am crazy about is that port and caper sauce. YUM. Nice to read about Hamersley. The name is familiar, but really didn't know much about him.

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  3. This looks beyond delicious, Sam! The sauce looks so smooth and creamy. A heavenly meal for sure.

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  4. This looks mouth-watering wonderful. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    We may have met by chance...but we become friends by choice.
    http://simpleesue.com/top-tip-for-today-10-household-uses-for-milk/

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  5. Oh, that look ever so good! A mouthwatering dish. Burgers without buns are really scrumptious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. Jacques would love these Sam..Right up his alley all the ingredients and he loves the protein in burgers.

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  7. That looks wonderful Sam. Now I am probably going to have to buy that book-lol.

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  8. I love, love, love this - so much - it's dinner tonight. What a beauty. And perfect for the spring day that is winter. Hearty and packed with flavor! Merci!

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  9. I'm taking this post as a go-head to purchase another cookbook! When I'm intrigued enough to head to the library for a look see, I usually end up buying the book. What a lovely recipe!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  10. My husband and I have been to Hamersley's Bistro several times and it deserves its reputation. I'm going to the store today for peppercorns...if they don't have them, I'll use the capers like you did. Is the port ruby or tawny in the recipe?

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    1. Karen, I used tawny port because that's what I had on hand. Gordon did not specify which kind of port, which I take to mean either one. I think the regular port would be very good and I may try it next time. The tawny port is a little sweeter and I was concerned about using it, but I thought it paired very well with the rich blue cheese and the tangy capers. So...chose whichever you wish.
      Sam

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    2. Hi Sam, I wanted to get back to you and let you know that I made the burgers. I can highly recommend them...they were delicious. The sauce with the tawny port and green peppercorns was terrific and really made them special. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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    3. Karen, I'm so pleased to hear the burger turned out great. I wish I could visit Gordon's restaurant one day. This book is so full of delicious sounding recipes. One reviewer on Amazon commented, "the recipes were too good to give away." Now that's a compliment.
      Sam

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  11. This looks absolutely wonderful! What a great, simple recipe.

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  12. You had my attention at Blue Cheese and capers! This would be so popular at my house. I am pinning... I am going to check out the cookbook, too. Thanks!

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  13. Wow! That looks absolutely delicious and very gourmet. YUM.

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  14. it looks so good! very delicious

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  15. Beautiful burger and yummy sauce. You have a winner here Sam. Another new cookbook for my collection. Great post.

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  16. This looks beyond delish, Sam. I love the caper sauce with port!!

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  17. Wow that sounds just wonderful, bookmarked for next week after I have been shopping. Thanks for this one. Take care Diane

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  18. This looks SOOOOO good Sam. This is what I want for dinner tonight!!!
    Hope you are feeling better my dear.

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  19. Oh man-o-man, does that look GOOD!!! and we are having frozen pizza tonight 'cus it is too cold & snowy to go out...phooey!
    I'm sending a link to this one my whole family!! Can't wait to try it, S&M (*wink*) Thanks!!
    R.

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  20. Yes, a burger that is fancy enough for company! I love blue cheese with beef, and the sauce sounds delicious.

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  21. Sam - I don't which I like best, the burger, the sauce, or your shots of them - they are all awesome

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  22. Oh my goodness, this look delicious, Sam! What a great combination of flavors. This will be tried here soon!

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  23. That looks amazing Sam! I've been craving a burger, of course mine will be a little less gourmet:@)

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  24. As soon as I saw the burger, I thought too, no bun needed. What beautiful burger with a touch of sophistication.
    Surely, you enjoyed a good glass of wine with this dish!

    Hope you are feeling better.

    Velva

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  25. That is one gorgeous burger! I pinned it and can't wait to try it this summer. With green peppercorns, even, ha ha.

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  26. Thanks to you (I think) I bought Jacque Pepin's book. Now, you have me hankering for this one-- thought I need to go on a cookbook shopping diet. I love burgers, and much prefer to eat them without a bun. Wow, does this one look fabulous. I truly hope to try this recipe.

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  27. I made this tonight. Halfway through dinner Paul said "And you can make it again." Deliciously fun. Thanks, Sam.

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  28. Oh Sam!! you have out done yourself!! what wonderful flavors - I can't WAIT to eat one of these burgers!
    Mary x

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  29. Mmmm... I could never miss the bun with a burger of this caliber.

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  30. Sam your amazing... you make burgers gourmet. I wish I could be a dinner guest. So glad to have you back.

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  31. That looks amazing! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday.

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  32. This is my kind of burger, plus more! Blue cheese, capers, port . . . WOW, Sam! I've pinned it on my beef board and bookmarked it! You're right too, who needs a bun with all of these flavors?

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  33. Sam, this is great and my kind of burger, especially with blue cheese and no bun!

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  34. We had hamburgers last night and I wish I had seen this as I had all the ingredients in the pantry. Yummy! A great recipe and gluten free to boot!

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  35. Hi Sam,
    I can't wait to find this book and even better try this awesome burger. Oh my, I can almost taste it!

    Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  36. Fantastic! We love burgers with blue cheese -- your port wine sauce will elevate the dish to sublimity!

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  37. These look amazing.

    Great to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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  38. Uh oh...I think my husband is in for a real treat!!! The guy is obsessed with bleu cheese, and I let him have beef once a week. So...this week he gets a double whammy treat!!! No, I don't think he'll miss the bun at all. He'll be too busy savoring each bite of this little piece of heaven! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

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  39. Wow - I'm a blue cheese addict, so my taste buds are already in overdrive. Do you think I can get one of these burgers for breakfast?

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  40. Sam this sounds Incredible!!!!! I must try this very soon. You had me a port and caper sauce. i bet I could drink a glass of that stuff.

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  41. First time that I read about this cookbook. I will order it at the library first to see if I like it. Terrific burger, with a glass of red and I would be happy.

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  42. I am making this recipe this week. Sounds soooo delish! Thanks for sharing!

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  43. Wow Sam, I could see myself digging into this burgers...looks so good...yum!
    Enjoy your week :)

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  44. Oh this sounds like a great Saturday night at home with hubby dinner!

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  45. This would be just the ticket today! That sounds and looks delicious and my stomach is crying… Today is my birthday and we had planned to go and have a nice lunch – that is until my husband woke up with a toothache. We have just been back from the dentist – he has a new crown and his mouth is numb – so au revoir nice lunch! In addition while waiting for him at the dentist I was reading Julia Child “My Life in France”…. with the price of the crown I could have gone to Paris for lunch…. C’est la vie….

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam