Make the Most of Labor Day With a New Twist on an Old Favorite From Chef Tom McAliney

BRAWLEY, Calif. – August 20, 2007 – Labor Day, also known as “the working man’s holiday,” celebrates the contributions workers have made to the prosperity of America. For many, Labor Day simply marks the chance to take a break from the daily grind and enjoy the end of summer. Whatever you decide to celebrate, world-class-chef Tom McAliney, has some tips and recipe ideas to make your holiday experience much more memorable.

“Holidays are a great time for friends and family to get together, but preparing the right menu can sometimes be a daunting and time-consuming task for the host,” said Chef McAliney. “Since Labor Day is all about enjoying a break from work, how about trying a quick and easy twist on an old American classic – the cheeseburger? My recipe for Blue Cheese Stuffed Brandt Burgers is easy to prepare and the flavor will definitely give your guests something to celebrate.”

Blue Cheese Stuffed Brandt Burgers (serves four)
• 4 ounces artisanal blue cheese, room temperature
• 1 ½ pounds fresh ground Brandt Beef chuck
• Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
• Fresh baked burger buns or buns of your choice

Cooking Instructions:
• Preheat your gas grill to medium-high heat for 30 minutes.
• Prior to grilling, divide the blue cheese into four equal pieces and roll into balls.
• Divide the meat into four equal portions, wrapping each portion around one piece of blue cheese.
• Flatten each piece of meat to form patties and season with salt and pepper.
• Place the burgers on the grill. Cook on the first side for approximately four minutes.
• Turn and cook approximately another four minutes.
• Remove the burgers from the grill, place on buns and serve.

“I prefer to use natural beef products from Brandt Beef when grilling because they offer a great combination of quality, flavor and texture,” added Chef McAliney.

Chef McAliney offers the following quick tips to ensure that your Blue Cheese Stuffed Brandt Burgers are grilled to perfection:

1. Clean the grilling surface prior to every use and preheat the grill 30 minutes before grilling. Also be sure to have all necessary grilling items including meat, seasonings, an instant read thermometer, tools, etc. ready for use by the grill.
2. Add salt, pepper and seasoning before grilling burgers.
3. Grill all burgers on medium-high heat.
4. Always use tongs or a spatula to turn your burgers. When burgers are pierced with a fork, flavorful juices can be lost. And remember to turn the burger only once during grilling.
5. Never flatten the burger with a spatula. This will force flavorful juices out of the burger, making the beef drier and less palatable.
6. The most accurate way to determine the temperature of the burger is to insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side into the center of the burger.
7. Allow three to five minutes of resting time once your burgers have been removed from the grill. This will ensure optimal consistency and flavor are reached prior to serving.

For additional recipe ideas and cooking tips from Chef McAliney, please visit

For grilling safety tips, Chef McAliney recommends visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at

About Tom McAliney
Tom McAliney is the executive chef for Brandt Beef. He specializes in working with natural and seasonal products. Prior to joining Brandt Beef in 2006, Tom served as executive chef and director of food and beverage for the Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, Conn. Tom also has extensive experience working as a corporate executive chef for special events and has hosted such events as the Grammy Awards, Olympic fundraisers, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Awards, the Silver Apple Awards, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Inauguration, Hollywood movie premiers, celebrity weddings and corporate IPOs.

About Brandt Beef
Brandt Beef – The True Natural, is a family owned premium natural beef producer for the up-scale restaurant and retail markets. The Brandt family is passionate about producing the most consistent, highest quality, 100 percent source verified natural beef in the market. Through cattle selection, natural feeding practices and humane treatment of animals, Brandt Beef produces a product that is unparalleled in taste, tenderness and consistency. Recently, Brandt Beef received the Master Chefs’ Institute Seal of Excellence for its achievement in obtaining the Master Chef’s Institute standard of quality. More information is available at