Fire Up the Grill for Dave Meli’s (The Healthy Butcher) Blue Cheese Burger | An Homage to the Hamburger


It is hard to imagine North America without the hamburger. Let’s face it: the burger is a key part of our society. Many of the 10,000 restaurants in Toronto have a burger on the menu, be it a veggie burger, a fish burger, or the classic beef burger. And we have American restaurant owner, Louis Lassen, to thank. Lassen invented the modern hamburger and made it famous at the 1904 World’s Fair. How did I not know who Louie was? Why don’t we have a Lassen Day?  It could be just like Robbie Burns Day but instead of eating haggis and drinking Scotch we eat hamburgers in parking lots, drink cola, and relish our fancy condiments, which we use to adorn this masterpiece. Lassen Day … Think about it!


Yields: 5 burgers

2 lbs medium ground beef (finely ground once)
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup finely diced shallots
1 large egg
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp pepper
5 pieces of blue cheese, each the size of a Toonie and ¼” thick



  1. In a clean stainless steel bowl mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, shallots, egg, salt and pepper.  Work them well until the meat has started to stick together so they do not fall apart on the grill.
  2. Form the meat into 5 equal sized balls.
  3. Open each meat ball in the middle so they look like Pac Man. Place a chunk of cheese in the middle of each ball. Close up the ball and then flatten so that patties are 1½” thick.
  4. Season the patties with salt just before grilling.
  5. I recommend serving on a bun with Kozlik’s Orange Mustard and Granny Smith Coleslaw.


Granny Smith Coleslaw

1 cup shredded cabbage
1 shredded granny smith apple
1 shredded carrot
1 thinly sliced shallot
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
¼  cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients in a clean stainless steel bowl.
  2. Serve right away.



Dave Meli is the Head Butcher in charge of dealing with all of the Healthy Butcher farmers in Ontario – currently numbering at over 75 local family farms!  He ensures the animals are raised to our exceedingly high standards, that the resulting meat is of premier quality, coordinates with abbatoirs, and of course ensures the butchers under him are butchering to our impeccable standards.  As a trained chef before becoming a butcher Dave has always had a love for great food and spends much of his time dreaming about it.


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