Guest Recipe: Black & Blue Cheese Burgers, Plus a Grilling Contest Entry Opp

Did you know that increasing archaeological evidence points to South Africa as the actual birthplace of BBQ? “Braai,” as it’s referred to there, is the historic custom of communing around an open flame, a tradition that brings people together and gets celebrated not just during the summer months, but any day, anytime.

With the arrival of Fall, South African Braai Master and Excelsior winemaker Peter de Wet wants to help Americans embrace the Braai way of life (because summer ain’t the only season for cooking and enjoying meat outdoors). To that end, de Wet shares this recipe for his Black & Blue Cheese Burgers, made using lightly seasoned ostrich fillets—as juicy as a steak, yet leaner and full of health benefits.  He tops the burger with a sweet wine-infused blue cheese sauce followed by onions, tomato and arugula. If ostrich meat isn’t readily accessible, beef or buffalo stands in just as well and will also deliver great results.

And after you’ve prepared enough of these to go around at your next outdoor gathering, test your culinary might in Excelsior’s “BBQ to Braai” contest for a chance to win a trip to Cape Town and the Excelsior Estate. It’s on ’til the end of this month, so get busy if you known you’ve got skills and could do with a bit of wine-soaked travel. Get the details here.

Black & Blue Cheese Burgers (serves 4)

Image: Excelsior Estate
Image: Excelsior Estate

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 ostrich fillets (may substitute with beef or buffalo)
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Handful of arugula
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper
  • 4 potato buns

 

What To Do:

Lightly season ostrich fillets (or protein of choice) with salt and pepper and sear on a hot fire for 2-3 minutes, depending on the heat of the coals and personal preference. Ostrich is best eaten rare as they become tougher when well done. Longer for proteins like beef or buffalo. Cut potato buns in half and lightly grill for 1-2 minutes. Build burger on buns starting with Ostrich followed by onion and tomato and topped with the blue cheese sauce. Garnish with arugula.

 

BLUE CHEESE SAUCE

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white wine
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary needles
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • ½ cup of crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste

What To Do:

Beat the cheese and butter in a bowl (electric beater is ideal) until smooth and creamy. Add the wine and herbs, and mix well. Fold through the crème fraîche. Season to taste.

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