Stuffed Roasted Garlic Paste and Blue Cheese Burgers

By Michael Chiarello
Serves 4

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • Sea salt, preferably gray sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • Roasted Garlic Paste (see recipe that follows)
  • Blue Cheese
  • 1 loaf good crusty bread, cut into 4 sections

Preheat the grill. In a bowl, mix the meat. Form 4 (3-ounce patties) by using a scoop. Push them down and make little indentations in the middle to hold the flavors. Place a teaspoon of garlic paste in the middle of each patty and add a little chunk of blue cheese tucked right on top of the garlic paste.

Add a good twist of black pepper. Take another 3 ounce scoop of meat, make it flat in your hand and place right on top of the other half.

Take your fingers and just seal the 2 patties up and refrigerate until you are ready to grill. Meanwhile: Split the pieces of bread, and pull out some of the soft center to make a hole for the burger. Place the bread face down on the grill to toast. Place the burger in the bread, and top with your favorite condiments.

Roasted Garlic Paste

Yields about 1 cup.


  • 1 pound whole garlic heads
  • 1/2 cup pure olive oil
  • Grey salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions: Preheat the grill for 350 degree indirect cooking, or preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel the outermost layers of skin off the heads of garlic. Cut off the top one-third of the heads to open the cloves.

Save the small pieces of garlic for another use (see Chef's Note). Put the heads, cut sides up, in a small baking dish and pour the olive oil over them. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover tightly and roast until about three-fourths cooked, about 45 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the cloves begin to pop out of their skins and brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

When cool enough to handle easily, squeeze the roasted garlic into a small bowl. Press against the skins very well to get out all the sweet roasted garlic you can. Add the oil from the baking dish and mix well until a paste forms. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.