Posted by: Erica Retrochef | March 26, 2012

Ground Steak Parisian

A couple brief miscellaneous things:

  1. Sorry for no post last week, it’s birthday season in our family. Trying to fit parties, presents, and special dinner requests into the everyday busy routine gets hectic!
  2. Thanks to those readers who have been putting up some of my posts on Pinterest. I love seeing reactions to these concoctions, whether it’s in comments or on other social media.

And now, Ground Steak Parisian…

Buzz is a fan of blue cheese. Some people like blue cheese (or blue cheese dressing), including me; however, he definitely can be called a fan. He likes it extra moldy and extra stinky. (I like to be somewhere else, preferably out of town, when he’s eating the extra moldy stinky varieties.) Sometimes he likes to sniff the different blue varieties at gourmet food stores. Sometimes I like to pretend I don’t know who that odd person sniffing the cheese is.

For Buzz’s birthday, I bought him a copy of “44 FAMOUS RECIPES featuring ROQUEFORT CHEESE: the KING of CHEESE and CHEESE of KINGS,” published in 1964 by the Roquefort Association.

He soon had picked out a recipe and started reading me the ingredients.

Buzz: “Two and a quarter pounds ground round steak…”
Me: “So, hamburgers.”
Buzz: “No, it’s ground steak Parisian… ‘Divide into 12 oval patties’–”
Me: “That’s hamburgers.”
Buzz: “Ground steak Parisian. It’s steamed in wine.”
Me: “Hamburgers steamed in wine.”
Buzz: Well, yes. But they aren’t served on buns. So…

It went on like that for a surprisingly long time. But, long story short, we’re making Ground Steak Parisian!

Ground Steak Parisian

2-1/4 pounds ground round steak
salt and pepper to taste
4-1/2 ounces (2/3 cup) ROQUEFORT cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons buuter
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1-1/4 cups red Bordeaux or Burgundy wine

Season ground beef lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide into 12 oval patties. Divide ROQUEFORT cheese evenly on 6 of the patties. Place remaining patties on top of cheese and seal edges of meat ovals.

Brown mushrooms in half the butter. Remove mushrooms from skillet. Add remaining butter. Heat. Brown meat on both sides. Return mushrooms to skillet; add wine and simmer 5 minutes, basting meat constantly. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

One important detail that the pamphlet informed us of was how to know that our Roquefort cheese was, indeed, TRUE ROQUEFORT.

The red sheep seal is still in use today, although plastic has replaced foil for wrapping wedges.


Of course, the moldiness really ought to be enough to let you recognize that this is TRUE ROQUEFORT.

While the legend of Roquefort is that it was a delicious discovery after ewe’s-milk cheese was accidentally left in a cave for a number of months, I find it baffling that anybody would look at this and think, “sure, I’ll eat that.” Maybe early French shepherds were just really, really hungry…

When Buzz was shaping the hamburgers — er, steaks? — into the requisite oval shapes, he made smaller versions for the kids (who we didn’t expect to appreciate either the mushrooms or the blue cheese. The kiddie versions also got the “lighter” blue cheese, with fewer mold veins growing in it.

If nothing else, the buttery sauteed mushrooms would taste good…

They browned nicely in the pan, although the to halves started to peel apart after they were flipped.

The wine and mushrooms made a nice broth for constant basting, but after the meat came out of the pan, the sauce needed to simmer for several more minutes to reduce to a proper consistency.

The final product was quite tasty.  Although some of the cheese is obviously still clinging together in melted mass, most of it actually seemed to have soaked right into the surrounding meat as it cooked. The result was a moist, rare, rich burger, with a nice tang. The mushrooms were an excellent complement, and with a vegetable starch, it made a filling meal.

All in all, the 44 Famous Recipes is a fun little resource for Roquefort recipes. I’ll try to get the whole thing scanned in and post it to Flickr or something, so you can feast your eyes on (or even attempt to make) such delicacies as ROQUEFORT Bread, Saute Eggs ROQUEFORT, French Ham Cheesewich, or ROQUEFORT Apple Dessert. Stay tuned!


  1. All cheese is fermented milk, so I don’t know why the stinky, runny sort bothers me, but … mold. One is taught to avoid that. And yet, Tech Boy loves it, too. Well. I think you used it well, here, and I await with semi-horrified fascination the recipes for bread and dessert…

  2. As all cheese is but fermented milk, I am not sure why the runny, stinky varieties bug me so much, but … well. Mold. Visible mold. One is taught to avoid that sort of thing.

    This seems to be a pretty good take on what to do with Roquefort, and I await with semi-horrified fascination recipes including it in bread and dessert…!

    • Many basic cheeses are not fermented milk, but rather cooked milk, no mold involved. Personally, I love me cheese however they get it to curdle.

  3. Looks very tasty, it’s got all my favorite things! The only thing that would make me hesitate is, every hamburger I’ve ever cooked (except extra extra lean) releases an awful lot of grease.

  4. This post is full of awesomeness. A roquefort juicy lucy. Amazing. I want that cookbook. The cover is so Ten Commandments.
    Although I am confused–isn’t Parmesano Reggiano the King of Cheeses? At least that’s what I’ve been told.
    Please let me know if you scan this little gem of a book (and where). I might have to take a stab at one of the recipes.

    • The book attributes the “king of cheese” appelation to a nineteenth century bishop of Rodez. Of course, many other cheeses are also advertised that way. However, aside from its name, I can’t see any reason to consider Parmesano Reggiano a serious contender for the title; it’s hard to consider a superlative like that for a cheese that’s virtually impossible to eat straight, lest you crack a tooth.

      • Buzz, your musings on Parmesano Reggiano made me laugh out loud.

  5. Only slightly OT…Buzz, if you’ve never had roquefort on a roasted pear (and if the book somehow failed to suggest it) you MUST try it. Cut the pears in half lengthwise, remove seed part with a melon baller and pull the stem and string out, bake at 375 until the tops have browned a bit and the juices are bubbling, then put the cheese in the scooped out center…and try not to fall down from the amazing flavor pairing. So good!

  6. ….the pears should be a little soft too, when done…and ripe (slight give when the thumb is pressed near the stem)…forgot that.

  7. “Parisian” is sort of a stretch, although the French definitely like bunless hamburger patties and roquefort sauce (just not at the same time). I’d try it.

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