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Photo: Marcus Nilsson

Umami Burgers with Port and Stilton

Resist the urge to pile on any of the usual toppings—lettuce, tomato, ketchup. "The port is your condiment," explains Umami Burger's Adam Fleischman.Tip: Burger purists handle ground meat as little as possible; over-working the beef can create a tight, meatloaf texture.

Food & Wine JUNE 2011

  • Yield: Makes 4 burgers
  • Total: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ruby port
  • 2 pounds (20 percent fat) mixed ground beef brisket, skirt steak and sirloin steak
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) Stilton cheese, softened
  • Umami dust, optional, see Note
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns, buttered and toasted

Preparation

In a small saucepan, cook the port over moderate heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 15 minutes.

Heat a cast-iron griddle until very hot. Form the meat into four 4-by-1-inch patties without packing too tightly. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the patties to the griddle, cover with a roasting pan and cook over moderately high heat for 4 minutes, until very crusty. Flip the patties and cook, covered, for 2 minutes longer; top with the Stilton and cook uncovered for 1 minute. Transfer the patties to a plate and sprinkle with the umami dust, let rest for 2 minutes and set on the buns. Drizzle with the reduced port, top with the buns and serve.

Note: The Secret Seasoning To make simplified umami dust, use a spice grinder to pulse 3 tablespoons bonito flakes, 1/2 ounce crumbled dried kombu, and 1/2 ounce dried shitake mushrooms into a powder. Umami dust will soon be available at umamiburger.com.
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