Texas Tailgate Burger

Original Recipe before changes : www.food52.com

Ingredients (makes 6 burgers)

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups shredded smoked sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion (I use Texas 1015, naturally)
  • 6 onion hamburger buns
  • barbecue-flavored potato chips (kettle style is best)
  • sliced dill pickles
  • Chopped iceberg lettuce (we are going for crunch, not vitamins, here!)

Directions

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high. Brush the grill with oil to prevent sticking.
  2. To make the patties, combine the chuck, jalapeños, salt, pepper, and chili powder in a large bowl, handling it as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  3. Note: Here’s how I form my patties. Grab a softball-sized handful of meat and gently form it into a ball. Then, I sort of do a back and forth hand-to-hand motion for a few tosses (kind of like how you’d make a tortilla by hand), then I pat-pat-pat the meat into a flat disc while corralling the edges with my thumb to keep them smooth and uniform. Finally, make a small thumb-sized indentation in the middle of the patty. That way you get a nice patty without over-handling the meat. That is, if you don’t drop it.
  4. Prepare the barbecue cheese: Mix the barbecue sauce, cheese, and onions and set it aside. Do not refrigerate (you will be using it shortly and you don’t want it to be really cold).
  5. Place the patties on the grill rack and cook, turning once, until they’re cooked to your preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. In the last 3 minutes of grilling, carefully place equal amounts of the barbecue cheese on each patty. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, place the buns cut side-down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
  6. To assemble the burgers, place an equal layer of barbecue kettle chips on each bottom bun. Add a cheese-covered patty on top, followed by a layer of pickles and an equal amount of lettuce. Add the bun tops and serve with an ice-cold beer or a big ol’ pitcher of tea.