Green Chile Cheeseburgers

Home Cookin 4.6 Chapter: Beef, Pork and Lamb - Recipes to post
Green Chile Cheeseburgers

If you’d like an even cheesier burger, melt slices of cheddar on top during the last few minutes of grilling. Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes.

1 1/2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1 teaspoon salt
2 pasilla chiles, roasted on a gas burner or under a broiler until blackened, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

  1. Buy the right meat. For juicy burgers, get ground chuck with a fat
    content of at least 18%. Lean and extra-lean meat make tough, dry burgers.
    Also, the more freshly ground the meat is, the more tender and flavorful the
    burger: If your store has butchers, ask them to grind the meat fresh for
    you. (Or just grind your own, following our no-fuss method, see below.) 2.
    Mix in your seasonings very, very gently. The more you handle the meat, the
    tougher your burger will be. In a large bowl, pull the meat apart into small
    chunks, add salt, chiles, and cheese, and toss gently with fingers spread
    apart until loosely mixed.

  2. Use wet hands to form patties. This keeps your hands from getting sticky.
    It also allows the meat to come together faster and prevents overhandling.

  3. Make patties thinner in the center. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions
    and form patties about 3/4 inch thick at the edges and 1/2 inch thick in the
    center. They’ll shrink and even out when cooking.

  4. Keep meat cold until it goes on the grill. Put the patties in the fridge
    while the grill heats up. This helps more of the flavor-carrying fat stay in
    the meat.

  5. Use a clean, well-oiled, preheated grill. Bits of debris encourage
    sticking, as does an unoiled surface and too low a temperature; you want
    your burgers to quickly sizzle, firm up, and release from the grill.

  6. Keep grill at a steady high heat (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 inches
    above grill level for 2 to 3 seconds). If using charcoal, you want
    ash-covered coals to produce even heat. With a gas grill, keep the lid down
    while cooking; with a charcoal grill, leave the lid off.

  7. Flip burgers once and at the right time. Constant turning will toughen
    and dry out meat, and if you flip too soon, burgers will stick. Cook 2
    minutes per side for rare, 3 for medium-rare, 4 for medium, and 5 for

  8. Don’t press on the burgers while they’re cooking. The juice that seeps
    out holds most of the flavor and moisture.

  9. Let burgers rest a few minutes before eating. This allows them to finish
    cooking and allows their juices, which have collected on the surface during
    grilling, to redistribute throughout patty.

The real secret: Grind your own meat.

Grinding meat at home is not only easier than most people think, but also
makes the moistest and most flavorful burgers. And, given the periodic
safety concerns about commercially ground meat, home-ground is the way to go
if you like your burgers cooked rare or medium. Manual meat grinders (about
$30) are available at kitchen supply stores, and grinder attachments (about
$50) for standing mixers work very well.

  1. For four 6-ounce burgers, buy 1 1/2 pounds chuck roast or sirloin,
    keeping a thin layer of fat on the meat.

  2. For added safety, bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the roast
    for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove meat and rinse with cold water.

  3. Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss meat pieces with 1
    teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Chill the grinder for 30 minutes before starting (a cold grinder grinds
    more efficiently).

  5. Set up grinder according to manufacturer’s instructions, using the coarse
    plate or setting. Feed meat into funnel and grind, stopping to clear the
    grinder if necessary. Put ground meat through grinder once more and proceed
    with step 2 above.

Yield Makes four 6-ounce burgers