Grilled Jalapeno Burgers
Grilled Jalapeño Burgers, Saturday, February 2, 2008 :
Updated July 11, 2008- a word of caution…I am still having some difficulty with the burgers falling apart on me while I cook them. I may have to rethink this recipe and experiment with it some more to solve this problem. The taste, however, is wonderful!
As I mentioned in my last recipe posting we gave a going away party for my youngest son, Luke, last Sunday as he left for the US Army on Tuesday. The menu for the party included the Hot Potato Salad described below and some grilled Jalapeño Burgers which I will describe today.
I grew up with parents from South Texas so jalapeños were always around my house. I remember going to Eagle Pass into Mexico a couple of times as a small child and watching my dad buy a couple of 1 gallon tins of jalapeños and watching him eat whole peppers. I tried it as a kid…but decided to stick to eating the slices on my mom’s nachos that she would make on Sunday nights as we watched Bonanza after church.
This past summer I was about to grill some burgers and decided to make my own instead of buying a box of 48 frozen 1/4 lb patties of doubtful parentage. This recipe is what I came up with and is the recipe I used to good effect on Sunday.
I wanted to make a lot of burgers so I bought a 5lb roll of 80/20 ground beef. We usually buy the 90/10 for less fat, or if my wife is buying she gets the 93/7, but last summer I discovered that with my recipe the 90/10 beef patties did not hold together well. I threw the log of ground beef in a large mixing bowl and started breaking it up.
Here is what I added to the beef:
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of oatmeal
two finely chopped large jalapeños
7-8 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 small cans of tomato paste
Salt and pepper, lots more pepper than salt.
1 tblspn of Liquid Smoke
I mixed all this up and then started making the patties. I don’t make small quarter pound patties- these are huge. Almost Kinkaids huge (for you Fort Worth readers you know what a Kinkaids burger is like), between 1/3 and 1/2 a pound per patti.
I think I got about 24 pattis out of the 5 lbs of meat, all the extras I added make this 5lbs stretch. Because of all the goodies I added, and due to grilling them on my gas grill, these burgers, though made with 80/20 meat, actually seemed healthier than the norm. Just a word or two of caution: 1) with using tomato paste as you mix up the burgers your hands will be stained and the cooked burgers will look very red inside. Some may think the meat is rare, but most of the red is the tomato paste. 2) Be sure to give the jalapeños a taste test so that you know how hot they are and then adjust the amount accordingly. The two I used last weekend were mild to medium so the burgers came out not hot at all. Likewise, you can adjust the amount of garlic you use according to your taste. I did not use enough garlic in this batch for my preferences, but since I was cooking for a large crowd I tamed it down quite a bit. Garlic can add some serious heat just as the peppers.
Here is the final secret, I made the patties the day before and let them sit in the fridge overnight so as to allow the flavors to permeate the meat and to let the patties firm up a bit to help with the crumbling problem I had last time. With one exception my patties stayed together this time when I grilled them.
Now how did I serve up these wonderful jalapeño burgers? I always have two kinds of buns: whole wheat and then sesame seed on white. I eat whole wheat breads all the time, even my biscuits are whole wheat. But I love sesame seed buns. I only wish the bread folks would bake some sesame seed whole wheat! The veggies I had available included huge tomato slices, sweet pickle relish, dill pickle slices, red onion slices and chopped, some kind of peruvian sweet onion sliced or chopped, cheese slices including pepper jack, colby jack and American singles processed artificial cheese, and I had some lettuce. (I actually did not try cabbage on my burgers…can you believe it). (LATE ADDITION: on some f the leftover hamburgers I did try them with cabbage…I will never go back to lettuce! Lettuce is just weak. The cabbage gave it that extra crunch and a richer flavor. I have been a little bit of a traditionalist with my grilled burgers, but now cabbage burgers is the way to go!) (added 02-23-200
Besides the burgers I grilled some Oscar Meyer all beef bun length hot dogs and some Johnsonville Sweet Italiam Sausages (Johnsonville is a famous Texas brand of sausage and bratwurst) . Side dishes include my hot potato salad I discussed last time, some Bush’s baked beans flavored with maple and pork, and some corn. For appetizers I had some Tostitos and some blue corn Tostitos with my cajun guacamole and some medium queso w/salsa. Nobody left hungry and I had about twice as much food as I needed. Consequently, I have been eating grilled burgers and dawgs, sausages and ‘tater salad all week! It’s been a good week!