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Agour and Red Onion Stuffed Burgers with Minted Pesto

I created this recipe after tasting a stuffed pastry appetizer. I wanted a similar stuffing to compliment a beef burger. I enjoy cooking with different type cheeses and chose Agour Ossau-Iraty because its slightly dry texture gives way to a creamy, buttery quality and is a magnificent choice for this stuffed burger.


Minted Pesto:
1 cup packed mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon pickled capers, rinsed and chopped
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 Tablespoons Sutter Home Pinot Noir
2-1/2 lbs. ground beef chuck(at least 24% fat)
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 cup Agour Ossau-Iraty cheese, grated
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 large sesame hamburger buns, split
1-1/2 cups loosely packed Arugula


Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium heat. To make the Minted Pesto, combine mint, basil, garlic, capers and Parmesan cheese in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Gradually add enough wine to make a paste. Spoon paste into a bowl and set aside. To make the patties, in a large bowl, gently mix together beef, salt and pepper. Form into 12 equal size patties, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate patties while preparing stuffing. To make stuffing, on the grill heat the olive oil in a fireproof frying pan and saute the red onions over medium heat until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool. Stir in rosemary, oregano and Agour cheese. Set aside while assembling patties. To assemble the patties, mound about 1/4 cup stuffing in center of six patties; cover with remaining six patties, sealing edges by firmly pressing together with fingers. Gently press center of patties to remove mounding. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the stuffed patties on the rack (on a charcoal grill, about 4-6 inches from medium-heated coals); cover grill. Grill burgers about 10-12 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in the center, turning once. When burgers are almost done cooking, toast the buns (cut side down) on the grill, until golden. To assemble the burgers, spread minted pesto in equal amounts on each of the bun bottoms; add the patties. Top burgers with equal amounts of Arugula and add bun tops; serve immediately. Makes 6 burgers.


Cooking is one of my passions and I was raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex where diversity in cooking is prominent. My Agour and Red Onion Stuffed Burger with Minted Pesto is proof of that.