Cheesy Mozzarella Ranch Burgers
*Warning: Do NOT read this post if the sight of raw meat makes you queasy. Unless you like feeling queasy. If that’s the case, read on.
I realize it’s kinda ballsy to post a recipe for burgers on a blog that a) isn’t entirely about food, b) isn’t written by a food connoisseur, or c) claims that poo-pourri is one of the best. gifts. ever.
Many people tend to take hamburgers very, very seriously. Such people insist that burgers should be prepared as simply as possible, using very little ingredients.
But c’mon – it’s a burger, people – ground chuck stuck between two buns (and I’m not talking about Erin’s husband when he finally gets home). (Sorry Erin’s mother-in-law!) I mean, it’s ground beef – not veal.
All I’m sayin’ is that it’s a meat that’s made to be played with – and play with it, I do.
So here’s what you need for the burgers I made for the 4th of July celebration (a recipe inspired in-part by Erin’s good friend Kevin and other recipes found online at various times):
- 4-ish lbs. ground beef (I normally like to get the good stuff, but since I was being cheap after much purchasing of alcohol, I got a pre-packaged brand of regular ground)
- 2 (1 oz.) packages of ranch dressing mix (I would’ve actually used 3, but I only had 2. Crap.)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups crushed saltine crackers or bread crumbs (amount depends on the consistency of your meat)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- Worcestershire (if meat is dry)
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
1) Dice up your onion, nice and fine.
2) Stick all your ingredients in a giant bowl.
3) Now’s the fun part. Make sure your hands are clean and dig on in! Trust me, you can try to do this with a spoon if you want. You can try. But your burgers will likely end up very unevenly mixed. Plus, you won’t have the fun of digging ground beef out from under your fingernails later.
Ooohh feels so good.
4) You want them to be sticky, but not too sticky. (Yeah, that helps, right?) Then form them into balls. I think I got about 14 balls out of my 4 or 4 1/2 lbs. of meat. You can really make them as big as you’d like.
5) Break off chunks of your mozzarella cheese (wash your hands first), and then press them inside the meat, making sure to cover the cheese completely with meaty goodness.
I only used half of this block of mozzarella:
6) Once each burger ball is stuffed with 2-3 pieces of the cheese, it’s time to slap ’em on the grill. Now I’m not about to tell anyone how to cook your meat, but FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE don’t make them well-done. I know it’s not veal, but it’s not tire rubber, either. You want to taste the meat, don’t you? (Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case I’m not sure why you’re even still reading this post.)
Now is when I have to admit I’ve failed you. I’ve failed you as a blogger and as a human being. Every person who blogs about food knows you’re supposed to have a photo of the finished product. They know this.
But here’s what went down:
We took some really good buns and slathered butter on the insides and stuck them on the top rack of the grill so they could get nice and toasty (you could also do this on an indoor griddle). Then we added condiments of our choosing and finally bit into the ranchy, cheesy goodness that is these burgers. It was the cheese, friends. (Okay, it might have partially been the beer), but it was mostly the cheese that made me forget about picking my camera back up and snapping a photo of the finished product.
I promise you I will probably forget to take the final picture on more than one occasion. That’s just me. But it’s like the Gin Blossoms said, “Don’t expect too much from me, and you might not be let down.”
Make these (or some variation there-of) this summer. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you screw ’em up.
What’s your favorite kind of burger?