Continuing on with the food holiday theme this month, and tipping my hat to National Hamburger Day on July 28th. How do you make a really great burger? Grind your own meat. How do you make it taste even better? Make your own hamburger buns. And how do you really take it over the top? Fill it with a little homemade pimento cheese and slather some of that delicious southern spread on the bun as well. That’s right, multiple recipes in this post for the ultimate summer grilling sandwich.
Let’s break this burger down by components. First up, the thing that holds it all together: the bun. Homemade buns are quite easy to make and blow those sad flimsy grocery store ones out of the water.
This is my favorite bun recipe, soft and fluffy with a little potato flour for sturdiness and a healthy sprinkling of sesame seeds on top. The link also includes a whole wheat version.
Or, if you need a gluten-free option, Ashley has a great recipe for her favorite whole wheat bun, as well as a gluten-free version.
Next, let’s move on to the pimento cheese. If you’ve never heard of pimento cheese, it is pretty much a staple in the south. Jarred pimento peppers, cheddar cheese, and mayo (hot sauce optional) mixed together for the ultimate cheesy spread/condiment/topping.
Everyone has their own way of making it, and it is best when it has had at least a few hours to sit and let the flavors combine. Since I am not a fan of mayonnaise I use just enough to bind it together. Sharp cheddar is the way to go in my opinion, and a little of your favorite hot sauce brings it all together. My favorite is Original California Style Hot Pepper Sauce. Just the right amount of heat and a lot of flavor. I like my pimento cheese chunky, so I don’t use a food processor, just chop up the pimentos and mix it all together. If you have the shedder/slicer attachment, it helps immensely when shredding all that cheese.
And now, on to the patty. If you are a regular reader of the Ankarsrum blog, you know that we love the meat grinder attachment. Not only can you make fresh burgers, sausage, meatballs, taco meat and anything else requiring ground meat, but you get to control the quality of the meat, the texture, the type of meat you want to use (beef, poultry, pork, wild game, seafood). This attachment is quite the workhorse and easily ploughs through multiple pounds of your protein of choice.
My favorite way to do a stuffed burger is to make two thin patties, and then sandwich the filling into them. Since these burgers have so much flavor from the pimento cheese, the only thing I add to them is some freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of salt once they are formed.
All that is left is to cook these up on the grill:
Then add your toppings of choice and enjoy. Happy grilling everyone! If you’d like more tips on assembling and caring for the meat grinder attachment, check this video. And as always, if you have any questions or comments, please let us know.
Pimento Cheese Burgers
Prep Time: 45 minutes (including making homemade buns)
Cook Time: 32 minutes total (including bun cooking time)
12 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 jar (4 oz.) pimento peppers, drained and chopped
2 tsp. hot sauce, optional
pinch kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 1/2 pounds meat of choice, weighed after trimming excess fat, cartilage, bones, etc.
freshly ground pepper
hamburger buns of choice
Mix all the pimento cheese ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made a day in advance.
Cube the meat into 2 inch pieces and lay out on a tray. Place in the freezer, along with the metal components of the meat grinder, for 30 minutes. Once chilled, assemble the Ankarsrum base with the meat grinder attachment. Place a large bowl underneath to catch the freshly ground meat. Turn on the highest speed and use the plunger to push the meat through the grinder.
Weigh out 2 ounce portions of the ground meat and shape into thin patties. Place 1 Tbsp. of pimento cheese in the middle of half the patties. Cover with the remaining half and gently form into burgers, making sure the pimento cheese is fully encased. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Grill over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes per side, or if you like a bit of crispiness on the outside of the burger, grill 3-4 minutes per side over high heat. This will give you a medium-rare burger. Grill longer if you prefer well done.
Spread tops hamburger buns with remaining pimento cheese. Add sliced tomato, lettuce and patties.
Yield: 10 burgers