Pimento cheese on a burger? It's surprisingly great.

Pimento cheese on a burger? It’s surprisingly great.

With the return of football, fall is tail gating time. With a portable grill there are all kinds of possibilites. Here is one of my favorites based upon the “Pate of the South”, Pimento Cheese.

We think of pimento cheese as classically Southern but actually it probably has its roots in the north. One of my favorite food websites, Serious Eats, has a lively discussion of the history of pimento cheese here. So for your next tailgate (or any time) try one of my favorite burgers: Pimento Cheeseburgers.
Makes 6

You’ll have some pimento cheese left over unless you really pile it on your burger. Not a bad thing . It keeps nicely refrigerate for up to a week. Though its definitely not traditional, I often put a little sweet pickle relish in my pimento cheese.

1 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
One 7-ounce jar pimentos, drained and finely chopped
Big pinch of cayenne and drops of hot sauce to taste
2-1/2 pounds 80% lean ground chuck
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 hamburger buns, preferably onion flavored
Slices of tomato and iceberg lettuce leaves

In a medium bowl mix together the cheese, mayonnaise, and pimientos. If you need additional mayonnaise to make it creamy, add a little bit at a time. Season to taste with the cayenne and hot sauce.

Divide the ground beef into 6 equal portions and shape into patties about 3/4 inch thick. Remember to put a slight indentation into the center of each patty. Season both sides of the burgers liberally with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 minutes. Place the burgers on the grill and lower the heat to medium. Grill for about 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until they reach desired doneness, about 3 additional minutes for medium rare and 6 – 7 minutes for medium-well. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time, toast the buns, cut side down. At the last minute before taking the hamburgers off the grill, put a generous dollop of pimiento cheese on each burger. Take the buns from the grill and place on a platter. Place tomato slices and lettuce on each bun and top with a burger and the bun top. Enjoy immediately and don’t forget the wine!.
John Ash © 2014