BLT Burger with Kicked Up Ketchup

This recipe had me at BLT…then burger…aaahhh happiness.


1-1/2 lb. ground chuck (80 to 85% lean)

1 tsp. coarse salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 slices best-quality cheddar cheese

4 brioche-style hamburger buns

8 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and drained on paper towels

4 leaves green leaf lettuce

2 medium or 1 large beefsteak or heirloom tomato, thickly sliced

1 avocado, peeled and thickly sliced

1 recipe Kicked-Up Ketchup

Put the ground meat in a mixing bowl; sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Mix gently and briefly to avoid overworking the meat. Shape the seasoned beef into four patties that are about 1 inch thick.

Prepare a hot charcoal or gas grill fire. Grill the burgers, covered with vents open, until nicely marked and cooked to your liking (about 7 to 8 minutes total for medium-rare). Don’t press on the burgers while they’re cooking—you want to keep the juices inside the burger, not on your grill. Top each burger with a slice of cheddar in the last-minute of cooking so that it melts slightly.

Transfer the burgers to a plate and tent them with aluminum foil while you toast the buns briefly on the grill, cut side down. Serve the burgers on the buns, topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and ketchup.


Kicked up Ketchup:


1 Tbs. canola oil
1 small yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup, preferably Heinz or Del Monte
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. ancho chile powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the ketchup, red pepper flakes, chile powder, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, several grinds of black pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken slightly and meld the flavors. The ketchup keeps for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator; serve at room temperature.


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