Who doesn’t love a good burger? But, have you ever had a chili-cheese burger? When I was in college Tommy’s Burgers in Westwood was all the rage and you couldn’t let a quarter go by without hiking down from the dorms to indulge on a meaty burger dripping with chili. These burgers were quite unique and they were always in high demand with a line wrapped around the stand-alone shack perched up in a parking lot.
Chili Cheese Burgers are mostly about the chili. It isn’t your standard recipe with assorted beans – it’s all about the meat and sauce. A burger chili should have a hearty consistency, enough to hold onto the patty and soak into the bun slightly. The chili sauce is a mix of dried herbs, tomato paste and water, which the beef drinks up beautifully.
As for the patty and bun – you want a thinnish round of meat and a soft enough bun to squeeze down into your mouth so you don’t miss a single drop. The entire Chili-Cheese Burger experience is much different than a regular cheeseburger fest. You definitely can’t drive while eating this one and I recommend a good napkin, that’s if you like what you’re wearing.
2 pounds ground beef, half pressed into 4 patties
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 hamburger buns
1 cup diced onions, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons oil. Add 2/3 cup diced onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add 1 pound ground beef and break apart with spoon while cooking. Cook for 4 minutes, until cooked through.
- Add chili powder, salt, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne, stir. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and 1/2 cup water, stir to combine. Turn heat to simmer and place lid a jar over top of pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat add 2 teaspoons oil. Place beef patties in pan and cook for 4 minutes. Flip patties over and place cheese on top. Turn heat to medium and cover with lid. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove lid and turn off heat.
- Warm buns in oven, if desired and slice in half. Place patties on top of bottom bun and spoon chili over top. Sprinkle with remaining onions and top with remaining bun. Enjoy!