Frugal Fridays: Stuffed Blue Cheese Burgers with Red Wine Sauce

Stuffed Blue Cheese Burgers

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Serve 4

1-1/2 lb. ground 80% to 85% lean beef, preferably chuck – $5
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce – $.06
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – $.02
4 oz. crumbled creamy blue cheese – $2.95

Red Wine Pan Sauce:
4 Tbs. unsalted butter – $.44
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots – $1.20
1 cup lower salt beef or chicken broth – $.71
3/4 cup red wine – $1.25
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar – $.13
2 tsp. Dijon mustard, preferably grainy – $.14
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – $.02

Total Cost: $11.92
Cost Per Serving: $2.98

Prep Day

Burgers: Gently break the meat into large pieces in a large bowl. Add the Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and gently mix with your hands; avoid overworking.

Wet your hands and shape the meat into 8 equal 1/2-inch-thick patties. Make a slight indentation in the center of 4 of the patties to hold the cheese. Divide the blue cheese into 4 equal portions, shape into disks, and set a disk in each of the 4 indentations. Top the cheese with the remaining patties and gently but firmly seal the edges to completely encase the cheese. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours or wrap individually and freeze in a labeled freezer bag.

Pan Sauce: In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened but not brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Then put it in a quart size freezer bag. Add the broth, wine, vinegar, and mustard. Mix and freeze.

Serve Day

Burgers: Thaw. Prepare a hot charcoal or gas grill fire. Grill the burgers, covered with vents open, until nicely marked and cooked to your liking (2 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes per side for medium rare, 4 minutes per side for medium). Don’t press on the burgers while they’re cooking—you want to keep the juices and cheese inside the burger, not on your grill. Serve with the Red Wine Pan Sauce.

Pan Sauce: Thaw. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil pan sauce until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 9 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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