Confident home cooking
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Beef, Main Dishes, Sandwiches, Spicy

Sante Fe Burgers

by Nick

Summer equals grilling and grilling equals burgers. Last weekend I was in charge of providing the burgers for a cookout I was going to and I was more than happy to oblige. Since I was right in the middle of reviewing Bobby Flay’s new book, I thought I would give one of the burgers out of there a shot.

The Sante Fe Burger got my attention.

This burger caught my eye for its combination of toppings which include:

– Roasted poblano peppers (for spice)
– A smooth cheese sauce (for cheesiness and spice)
– Blue corn tortilla chips (for texture)

Pair that with a perfect burger and a bun and you are all set.

Yield
Makes 6 burgers
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Santa Fe Burgers

Ingredients

  • Sante Fe Burger
  • 1 large poblano chile
  • 1.5 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 buns
  • A few handfuls of tortilla chips
  • Cheese sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups milk
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

1) Using your hands mush butter in the ground meat until it was evenly distributed.

2) Shape these into about 4 to 5 ounce patties and salt and pepper liberally. Some tips on shaping burgers:
- Don’t over work them. Just shape them enough to form a patty. If you work them too much they will get tough.
- Keep the seasoning simple in most cases. If you have good meat, then there isn’t a need to do a lot to it. But at the same time, don’t be shy with the salt and pepper.
- Using your thumb, make a small indent in the middle of the burger. As the meat cooks, it will expand and fill in this dent. This is the best way to prevent dreaded flying saucer burger: very fat in the middle and skinny on the outside.

3) Roast the peppers by sticking them over a high flame for a few minutes and then put them on a plate covered with plastic wrap. The steam will make the skin peel off perfectly.

Make the cheese sauce:
1) Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and when it is melted, whisk in the flour. Continue to stir it for 4-5 minutes until it starts to turn slightly tan.

2) Slowly whisk in the milk, a bit at a time.

3) Stir in the cheese which should melt and make a really rich sauce.

4) Stir in the salt and pepper and whisk for a few minutes to make sure it is thick. If it is too thin, just continue to whisk for a few minutes and it should thicken nicely.

5) Grill the burgers about 5-6 minutes a side over medium-high heat for a medium cooked burger.

6) Slather the bottom bun with cheese sauce and then added the burger, pepper, more cheese sauce, and then the chips.

I ran into a problem right away with the burgers. I couldn’t find any with the fat content I wanted and I actually hate a lean burger. Call me crazy but fat is flavor. So I came up with this idea that maybe has been done before, but I thought I would give it a try. If I needed more fat in the meat, I knew an easy way to increase the fat content: butter.

A muse told me to do this.

A muse told me to do this.

Using my hands I mushed the butter in the ground meat until it was evenly distributed. At the end it actually kind of looked like fat, a bit uneven and kind of veiny throughout the burgers.

Shape these into about 4-5 ounce patties and salt and pepper liberally. Some tips on shaping burgers:

– Don’t over work them. Just shape them enough to form a patty. If you work them too much they will get tough.
– Keep the seasoning simple in most cases. If you have good meat, then there isn’t a need to do a lot to it. But at the same time, don’t be shy with the salt and pepper.
– Using your thumb, make a small indent in the middle of the burger. As the meat cooks, it will expand and fill in this dent. This is the best way to prevent dreaded flying saucer burger: very fat in the middle and skinny on the outside.

6 ounces makes a big burger.

6 ounces makes a big burger.

As far as the peppers go you can roast them beforehand if you need to. Stick them over a high flame for a few minutes and then put them on a plate covered with plastic wrap. The steam will make the skin peel off perfectly.

Can't go wrong here.

Can’t go wrong here.

Next, make the cheese sauce. You really can’t make this more than 20 or 30 minutes in advance or it will just solidify. Cheese sauce isn’t that hard to make. This is the process.

First, melt your butter in a saucepan over medium heat and when it is melted, whisk in your flour. Continue to stir it for 4-5 minutes until it starts to turn slightly tan. Second, slowly whisk in your milk, a bit at a time. If you pour all your milk in at once, you’ll end up with a lumpy sauce. Do it slowly though and it will be smooth and delicious.

Finally, stir in your cheese which should melt and make a really rich sauce. Stir in your salt and pepper and whisk for a few minutes to make sure it is thick. If it is too thin, just continue to whisk for a few minutes and it should thicken nicely.

The cheese is pre-melted!

The cheese is pre-melted!

As far as cooking the burgers go, it is pretty easy on a grill. About 5-6 minutes a side over medium-high heat and you should end up with a medium burger. Try not to press down on the burgers too much. They will cook faster, but also lose some juiciness.

I was a bit worried about the butter situation.

I was a bit worried about the butter situation.

This is the final setup. There was also a bag of blue corn tortilla chips, but that wasn’t really photo-worthy.

The setup.

The setup.

As far as putting it together, I slathered the bottom bun with cheese sauce and then added the burger, pepper, more cheese sauce, and then the chips.

Betsy seemed to like it just fine.

Sorry darling!

Sorry darling!

I really loved the cheese sauce. It brought everything together perfectly.

Damn good.

Damn good.

Oh. And if you were worried, the butter addition to the burger was a good one. It was really moist. I was worried about it falling apart on the grill, but it definitely didn’t. It worked better than I thought it was going to.

Next time you are grilling, give this burger a shot. Definitely a keeper!

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13 comments on “Sante Fe Burgers

  1. jeepers.

    that cheese sauce is the crowning touch, isn't it?

    i have never had cheese sauce on a burger.

    not NEVER.

    i have been missing out. i see that now.

    fabulous pictures, Mr Macheesmo.

    fab.u.lous!

  2. Haha, you put butter into a bowl of ground beef. I want to frame that picture. Are you related to Paula Deen in some unknown way?

    They look like they were really great.

  3. Ya gotta love a butter burger! I'm excited for burger season to begin. Do you have the "Build a Better Burger" cookbook? It's a good one… all the prize winning recipes from that big contest they have in Napa every year. This one looks good. Love the drippy cheese sauce on there.

  4. Yeah, I saw Paula Deen put butter in her burger meat, too. I tried it after I saw her do it, but I didn't notice a difference in flavor. Your Mornay (or cheese) sauce looks so good! I love that stuff! It's fun to make, as well!

  5. Haha. Ok. So apparently I'm like Paula Dean. Nothing wrong with that sometimes… I thought the butter added some flavor, but more importantly it adds moisture to the burger. I'm always worried about lean burgers getting too dry.

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

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