America is considered the true home of the hamburger, but chopped beef had been a staple of Eastern European cuisines for centuries. German immigrants from Hamburg arrived in America in the 19th century bringing their Hamburg-style beef with them. Burgers are all about the toppings and this recipe focuses on the topping you can’t see. The idea behind an inside out burger is to sandwich ingredients within the beef patty and when you take a bite, the stuffing is uncovered. Talk about a taste sensation!
1 1/2 lbs. medium ground beef
1 onion, thinly sliced
cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated (or any mixture of hard or semi-hard cheeses)
4 slices bacon, cooked
bread and butter pickles
Divide beef into 4 even chunks. Divide those chunks in half and form patties. Using all fingers, grab a generous pinch of Gruyère cheese and place on one half of the patty. Place the other half on top. Using your fingers, crimp and seal the edges closed – you don’t want the cheese exposed. Repeat for remaining patties. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Keeping the patties cold before cooking helps them to stay together and stay as juicy as possible.
In a frying pan over medium heat add a splash of olive oil and sauté onion until golden brown. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, add a splash more olive oil and add mushrooms. Cook until light brown or to your liking. Remove and set aside.Season patties with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and grill over medium-high heat (2 minutes per side for rare, 3 for medium-rare, 4 for medium, and 5 for well-done). Resist the urge to press the burgers while they cook as this releases their natural juices (making for a drier patty) and the cheese will ooze out. IF USING A GRILL PAN: Heat pan over high heat on top of the stove. Cook the burgers the same as you would for the barbecue. Build the hamburger by placing one patty on the base of a hamburger bun followed by thinly sliced cheese (the heat from the burger will soften the cheese), pickles, bacon, mushrooms and onion.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: The first time I made an inside out burger was 2 years ago when we lived in NY and I haven’t made a regular burger since! I like my burgers thick and use a pound of ground beef for the two of us. Get creative and use other toppings to stuff your burger. Enjoy!