RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Monte Carlo Brie au Bleu Burgers

Brie, Brie au Bleu and many other fine cheeses became one of my addictions when I lived in Nice in 1974 and 75. Monte Carlo and Cannes were so close to this home away from home that day trips quickly became a weekly pleasure and opened up my food horizons in ways I had never dreamed of. I made burgers when living in France because it seemed that despite their amazing repertoire, the French couldn't get the hang of making juicy American burgers. The recipe I'm submitting today is similar to the one I used to make at the time, and combines some of those special food memories.


2-1/4 pounds ground beef chuck (80/20 lean to fat)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 medium shallots, minced
1 (4.5 oz) round Brie au Bleu, chilled
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 crusty, close-textured Portuguese or French rolls
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey-dijon mayonnaise
1 small bunch arugula, trimmed, leaves only
2 ripe firm tomatoes, sliced
6 medium slices sweet Vidalia onion, or other sweet variety Dressing:
Reserved diced cheese
1/2 cup creme fraiche, or to taste
3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine beef, Worcestershire, parsley and shallot. Mix well and divide into 6 equal portions. Form each a 1-inch thick burger. Cut off and discard the rind from the Brie au Bleu cheese and cut it in half vertically. Cut half into 6 thin wedges and the other half into small dice, reserving the diced cheese at room temperature. Make an indentation in the center of each burger and place a wedge of cheese in it. Bring the ground beef up and around to completely enclose it, smooth into 1-inch thick burgers and make an indent in center of each to allow for expansion. Brush burgers on one side with olive oil and place them, oiled side down, on a medium-hot gas grill. Cook 4 minutes, brush exposed side with olive oil and turn. Grill 4 to 5 minutes longer or until burger tests medium-rare or, if preferred, 160 degrees. While burgers are cooking, mash the reserved cheese with a fork, mash in the creme fraiche, chives, salt, freshly ground pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Set aside. Cut rolls into thirds, saving middle slice for another recipe. Drizzle cut surface with olive oil and place on grill. Grill until lightly toasted. Spread both cut sides with honey-mustard mayonnaise, add a burger, some of the arugula, tomato and onion. Add a tablespoon of dressing, the roll top and press down lightly. Cut in half and serve.


Although I listed salt and pepper separately in the burger portion of my recipe and again under dressing with the addition of cayenne, I've counted them as three ingredients. Where the same ingredient is used in two separate places as with the Brie, I counted it as one ingredient. I didn't count the oil, and hope that's correct.