These huge half pound stuffed burgers are filled with spicy pepper jack cheese and topped with sweet bourbon caramelized onions.
I have been rolling this recipe around in my head since I made my bourbon caramelized onions post. Honestly, I don’t remember why I decided that pepper jack cheese needed to go inside the burger, but it just did. The husband and I both agree that from now on, this needs to be the way to eat a cheeseburger.
How to Make the Stuffed Burgers
The Husband is the burger maker in our house. But this time I supervised. If we were going to stuff something inside, these patties neeed to be big ‘uns. And they are – ½ pounders!
To feed four people, you will need two pounds to ground beef. Divide the beef into eight equal portions, about 1/4 pound each. Form each ball into a patty about four inches wide and 1/4 inch thick.
Using your fingers, gently create an indention in the middle of four of the patties. Sprinkle two tablespoons of shredded pepper jack cheese into the indention. Then lay a second patty over the top and gently seal the burger meat around the cheese. Season both sides of the patties with salt and pepper. Patties can be made up to a day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. I recommend letting your burgers sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking to prevent the patties from shrinking during cooking.
Heat a grill to medium high heat. Grill about 7-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time, until the cheese is melted and the burger reaches desired doneness. If the cheese oozes out a little, that’s okay! Let the burgers rest for about 10 minutes before eating. One, it lets the juices redistribute back into the burger. Two, that cheese is going to be like hot lava. Save your lips and let the burger rest.
How to Make the Bourbon Caramelized Onions
Just imagine biting into one of these hosses and getting a bite of melty cheese combined with the sweetness of caramelized onions. You could skip this step, but I don’t recommend it.
Start by thinly slicing a sweet yellow onion. A mandoline slicer makes quick work of this, but if you don’t have one, a sharp knife will get the job done.
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle them with some salt and sugar and saute for an additional 10 minutes. Make sure you’re giving your onions a good frequently to prevent them from burning.
Next, you want to pour in a quarter cup of bourbon. The bourbon will bubble once it hits the hot skillet. Grab a wooden spoon and start scraping the bottom of the pan to get up anything stuck to the bottom. This is called deglazing. There is a lot of concentrated flavor in these little bits!
Stir in a little spicy brown mustard and Worcestershire sauce. By now, the onions should be looking pretty soft and brown. The onions can also be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge. Just make sure to reheat them before serving.
A burger like this shouldn’t be served on el cheapo buns (which I admit is what I normally purchase). Instead, I served them on toasted Kaiser rolls. Best burger ever. I promise.
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Pepper Jack Stuffed Burgers with Bourbon Caramelized Onions
For the burgers:
- 2 pounds ground beef or venison
- ½ cup grated Pepper Jacks cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the bourbon caramelized onions:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Half a medium onion very thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
For the burgers:
- Divide the burger meat into eight equal portions.
- Form a patty from each portion, about four inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick.
- Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of grated cheese in the middle of four patties, leaving about ¼ margin around the outside.
- Place one of the remaining four patties on top of a patty with cheese. Gently press the meat together so that it forms a single patty.
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Grill burger for approximately 15 mintues, flipping about halfway through, until burger reaches desired doneness.
- Top with bourbon carmelized onions.
For the onions:
- In a medium skillet, heat butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, reduce heat to medium, and sauté until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the salt and sugar and continue to sauté for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly pour in the bourbon and add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.