4.5 4

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.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 4 burgers

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


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


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.

Suggested Pairing

Beer Malty brown ale: Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale.

Wine Cherry-rich Washington Merlot.

Contributed By Photo © Marcus Nilsson Published June 2011

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