I’ve known winter is coming for quite some time, we all know it, and we all dread it, but it’s something that inevitably comes once the warm fall days have started to taper off. It’s like this gigantic ominous cloud is hanging over my head, just teasing and tormenting me until it releases all of the built up rain, or in winter’s case, frigid temperatures. I’ve been mentally preparing myself over the last month, and of course I’ve begrudgingly welcomed 27 other winters in Kansas, but I’ve never ever been – quite literally – smacked right in the face with it.
Monday there wasn’t even an inkling of a sign that bitter cold was coming our way; of course, Gary, our local meteorologist had warned us to not be fooled by the warm weather lingering during the afternoon. But I, being the weather forecast skeptic that I am, settled on a comforting level of ignorance – there was no way it was going to drop over 30 degrees in a matter of hours.
So after work, I rounded up Kevin and Ravioli and semi-forced them on a lengthy walk around our neck of the woods. About half way through the walk, the skies darkened, the wind picked up and with each step we took, the temperature dropped further and further.
A few blocks ahead a suspicious looking car drove slowly towards us. A street light just above illuminated the dark setting perfectly, while the increasingly violent wind blew perfectly tinted leaves across the path of the light. All three events collided at the same exact moment, creating the perfect setting for a cliché horror movie. Then BAM, we were literally smacked right in the face with a burst of frigid cold weather. My face froze up. My hands cramped. My legs started to tingle. And we hurried the heck home.
Horror movies aside, it’s crazy to think how things can change so quickly. What was once a warm, bright and sunny day, turned into a frigid, almost frightening evening, and only solidified what I’d be dreading so much – winter is here.
Other changes that winter facilitates? Bare legs for thick as wool socks. T-shirts for chunky knit sweaters. Friday nights spent out for quiet nights in. Leafy salads for hearty soups. Tomatoes for squash. Grilled burgers for…..
Oh WAIT, there’s one thing winter can’t take from me and that’s a juicy cheeseburger. Although instead of grilled burgers, I opt to keep my tush warm by griddling them inside.
These Teleggio Burgers with Spicy Pancetta and Pear and Blueberry Chutney are my reply to winter’s mean wrath. And while I will admit these are a little fussy (as winter also is), the extra effort in preparing each component is worth it.
Cooking the burgers in a cast-iron skillet allows for each side of the burger to get perfectly seared and crusty on the outside, while maintaining that juicy, luscious interior. In fact, I didn’t miss the grill at all here, and I’m one of those people that just adores the taste of a char-grilled burger.
Tellegio is brie’s more assertive cousin, which I find to be a perfect counterpart to the sweet pear and blueberry chutney laced with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg for warmth. If raunchy cheeses aren’t your thing, a soft fontina or fresh mozzarella would substitute nicely.
Of course in every burger I consume, there has to be an element of texture whether it comes from a slice of bacon or the crunch of a pickle. Here I used my new favorite ingredient, candied pancetta (as evidenced here and here), but instead of a dice, I had the butcher slice it fairly thin, brushed it with just a touch of maple syrup for sweetness and cayenne pepper for heat and then popped it into the oven until it crisped up.
This burger does come with one warning: Eat with caution. If your don’t watch it, the combined juice from the burger meat itself, the chutney and the gooey cheese will make its way down your chin, down your arms and onto your super cute winter white top…WORTH IT.
The perfect fall burger. Tangy and creamy teleggio cheese on top of a golden brown burger patty and topped with spicy pancetta and sweet pear and blueberry chutney.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 ounces teleggio
- 4 whole-wheat buns
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 bosc pear, peeled and diced
- 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of cardamom
- 4 thin slices pancetta
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pancetta slices on a baking sheet lines with a silt pad or parchment paper. Brush with maple syrup and sprinkle with cayenne. Bake until crisp, about 15-20 minutes.
- In a small sauce pan, heat olive over a medium heat. Add in onion and garlic. Saute until slightly softened about two minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until all the liquid has evaporated and the blueberries and pears have cooked down, about 15-20 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over a medium high heat.
- Combine ground beef and salt. Form into four patties, making an indention in the center of each patty to prevent the center from inflating. Cook burgers until brown and crusty on both sides and desired temperature on the inside, about 3 minutes per side for medium.
- When the burgers are about one minute from being done, add one ounce of teleggio cheese. Once cheese has melted place the patties on buns and top with pancetta and some of the blueberry and pear chutney.