Grilled burgers and summer, a spectacular no-brainer. An American pastime that turns so many smiles. In my opinion, hamburgers are meant to be simple. I only season my ground meat with salt and pepper before forming them into patties. Using a mixture of fattier ground chuck and leaner ground beef creates the ideal meat-to-fat ratio. Serving dry, overcooked, and under-seasoned hamburgers should be a punishable crime.
This hamburger receives inspiration from down South. Pimento cheese is a Southern cultural icon, the Caviar of the South. A treat for the uninitiated . It is a spread of cheese, mayo, pimento peppers, and other delectable bits. I like to use fresh pimento peppers, rather than canned. This creamy and sweet flavored spread accompanies the fatty juicy and charred burgers. The inclusion of spicy pickles adds acid, heat, and more Southern charm ala Chick-fil-A. And I like to serve homemade burgers on toasted English muffins. Different yet so natural.
This unique hamburger recipe, borrowing some Southern ingenuity, will leave tastebuds satisfied and America proud.
Homemade pimento cheeseburger with spicy pickles
Ingredients (serves 6 people):
- 16 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 – 1 cup mayo
- 6 fresh pimento peppers (aka cherry peppers), minced no seeds
- 3 scallion stalks, diced
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- Dash of garlic powder
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Dash of red wine vinegar
- 1.5 lbs ground chuck beef
- 0.5 lbs lean ground beef
- Tomato slices
- English muffins
- Can of Wickles (pre-made spicy pickles)
First, prepare the scrumptious pimento cheese spread. Combine in a large mixing bowl the shredded cheddar cheese, mayo, pimento peppers, scallions, garlic powder, cayenne pepper powder, Worcestershire, and red wine vinegar. Vigurously mix the ingredients using a fork. Mix until the cheese breaks down and it begins to look like a spread. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve in the refrigerator.
Combine the ground chuck and regular beef. Using your hands, fold the two different cuts of ground beef together. Do not overmix. Season with salt and pepper.
Form the burgers into the size of your palm (or slightly larger if you have smaller sized hands), about 1/2 – 1 inch thick. Poke a small dent in the middle of the burger patty with your finger. As a tip, do not overwork forming the burger patties. Keep it rustic looking and loosely packed.
Prepare your grill to high heat. Re-season the burger patties with salt and pepper immediately before throwing onto the grill. It is difficult to over-season a burger, yet so easy to under-season. Place the burgers onto the grill. A key tip, do not mess with them. Grill the burger until charred on the first side. This will take 3-5 minutes. Flip and repeat the process.
For a rare burger, cook for 3 minutes per side. For a medium burger, cook for 5 minutes per side. Allow the burgers to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, place the burger on a toasted English muffin. Spread the pimento cheese spread onto the other toasted English muffin. Top the burger with a tomato slice and a couple of Wickles. Enjoy!