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Barbeque Cheddar Burgers

Every once in a while, if we’ve been really good, I’ll decide to make burgers that (gasp!) aren’t made from turkey. Yes, I said it, true beef burgers. Burgers are all the rage in the trendy American culinary scene, using quality ingredients to dress up America’s favorite sandwich. Know that you are indulging… most of the time the ratio of beef is 80/20- 80% meat to 20% fat. If you are going to have a beef burger at home, I say treat yourself within reason. Ground sirloin maybe? Ribeye? You can even ask your butcher to make a blend of two different meats if you don’t have a meat grinder. This recipe for Barbeque Cheddar Burgers combines sirloin and lean ground beef, so that you have enough fat for a tasty burger without going overboard. Red onions become creamy and smokey after a session on the grill, and make for a mouth watering burger component. Top it with fresh tomato, sharp cheddar, and a side of sweet potato fries for a delicious burger that you won’t feel bad about later. 

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cooking Time: 15 minutes   Total Time: 30 minutes

2/3 lb ground sirloin
2/3 lb lean ground beef (10% fat or less)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup barbeque sauce- I like Jack Daniels or Sweet Baby Ray’s
1 red onion, cut horizontally into 1/2 – 3/4 inch rings
1 large tomato, cut into thick slices
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbs barbeque sauce
2 tbs mayonnaise
1/2 tsp pickled horseradish
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, insides sprayed with cooking spray

  • Preheat the grill to medium high heat. If you have a grill that has two separate heating areas, heat the other side to medium heat. Spray both sides with cooking spray so that nothing sticks to the grill.
  • Whisk the 2 tbs barbeque sauce, mayonnaise, and horseradish together in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  • Place both types of ground beef into a large bowl. Add the seasonings and 1/4 cup barbeque sauce, combining into the meat with your hands. Divide into 4 and make into 1 inch thick patties. You can use a hamburger press for this as well so that the burgers are even size. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Drizzle olive oil and some salt and pepper over the onion rings. You want all of the concentric circles in each slice to stay together. Place on the grill on the medium heat side of the grill. Cover and cook for 5 minutes per side.
  • Add the meat to the grill to the medium-high heat section. Continue to cook the onions and cook the burgers for 5- 6 minutes per side for a medium burger. Add the burger buns (cut in half) to the medium section. Keep the grill closed between flipping. Check to make sure they aren’t over cooked! There’s nothing worse than grilling a hockey puck for dinner.
  • Before the burgers are finished, add one slice of cheddar to each. Cover the grill again so that it melts quickly. Remove everything from the heat and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Assemble the burgers by spreading 1 tbs of the horadish-bbq aioli to the tops of each bun. Add the burger, tomato, and the charred grilled onion. Serve immediately.
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