All-American stuffed burgers & some Zin

Insta zin

WINE:  Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi California
WITH:  All-American stuffed burgers
WHY? All-American burgers deserve all-American wine!

Whilst not exactly the culinary masters of the world like the French or the Italians, there are some things that the Americans do really well:  Burgers.

So when I saw this recipe for All-American stuffed burgers I knew I had to try it out.

The theory is simple – rather than shove lots of things on top of the patty, you shove it all into the patty. Thus giving you a really moist flavoursome burger, that you can pick up and eat without everything falling out.

There were loads of different options for fillings – Italian, Blue Cheese, Mexican – but I decided to stick with the classic all-American burger. Sharp cheddar, smoked streaky bacon and mustard. Are you drooling yet?

I can vouch for its absolutely lip-smacking deliciousness. And if my boyfriend wasn’t still sat in a dazed state of bliss then I’m sure he’d vouch for ‘em too.

To pair with them I picked out the Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel which hails from sunny California. Gnarly with reference to the gnarly old vines this wine is made from.

In the UK Zinfandel usually takes the form of sweet, pink, Ribena-esque wine for girls. But as a red wine it is full-bodied, rich and spicy with some flavours of blackberries and prunes.  A great alternative if you usually go for an Aussie Shiraz or an Argentine Malbec.

If you’re in London you can pick up the Gnarly Head in Wholefoods. Or alternatively the Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel is available in Tesco and Majestic RRP£9.99.


All-American Stuffed Burgers
Anglicised from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 4 burgers

500g lean mince beef
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
8 rashers of cooked smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
4 tsp yellow mustard (I used French’s)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
4 x burger baps for serving – My favourite are Waitrose Poppy seed knots

  1. Gently loosen up the mince so it isn’t packed so tight. Add the cheese, bacon, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Using a fork toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Divide the mixture into 4 even portions and very-gently press into 1-inch patties. You don’t want to pack the mince too tightly or you’ll end up with a dense, dry burger. Chill the burgers for at least 30 minutes in the fridge – you can keep them refrigerated for up to 24 hours until you need them. Chilling them will help them keep their shape when cooked.
  3. Meanwhile toast the burger buns on both sides – this will stop them becoming limp and soggy when you add the burger.
  4. Take out the patties and cook them – they’ll need about 3 or 4 minutes on each side depending on how you like them.  I like to use a George Forman grill as it cooks them in no time and gives them a good charred edge, but you’d get the same effect on a griddle-pan you’ll just need to turn them. Heck if it’s summer then chuck them on the BBQ – I definitely will be.
  5. Serve on the toasted buns alongside hand-cut oven chips, cornichons and if you’re anything like me lashings of condiments. Et voila!

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