Barbecued Cheddar Burgers

No Thank You Boy returned yesterday from two weeks in China.  While he was away I heard from him one (that’s ONE, as in a singular instance) time and when I did it was a one (again, ONE) sentence email in which he briefly stated that there were creepy crawlies in his hotel room but that he didn’t care because all of the Chinese girls thought he was Justin Bieber.  Frankly, I don’t see the resemblance, but oh well … I had a laugh and so did he.  Now he’s home and hungry for American food and (SURPRISE!) his mom’s home cooking.  He said he missed milk, cheese (“I just really want some cheeeeeeeeeeeese, Mom”) and chocolate.  So last night, I made these cheddar burgers in his honor. 

He was too jetlagged to eat and slept right through dinner.

The Husband and I thought these were excellent.  If you’re a caramelized onion fan, do not miss out on the easy sweet onion topping, it’s really, really good.  As far as the burgers go, mixing the sauce right into the meat adds flavor and moisture at the same time.  Be sure to use a sauce you love; I had a home made version in the freezer from the last time we had my favorite barbecued chicken, so I used it and it was delish.

Incidentally, I made a couple burgers with Sendik’s ground turkey and those were equally good.

Even if you’re not welcoming a jet-lagged, chocolate-cheese-craving teenaged boy home from China, you should definitely make these sometime soon.  I hope you like them too. : )

YIELDS: 4 adult sized or 8 child sized burgers

3 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (Sendik’s Ground Chuck is on sale)
1/2 cup purchased barbecue sauce (Saz’s BBQ Sauce is on sale)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (Deer Creek 2 Year  Vat 17 Cheddar is the Cheese of the Month)
12 sesame-seed hamburger buns, lightly toasted (Sendik’s Hamburger Buns are on sale)
Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise for serving (Heinz Ketchup, French’s & Koops Mustards, and Hellmann’s Mayo are all on sale)
Lettuce leaves
Sliced tomatoes (Jumbo Beefsteak Tomatoes are on sale)

Caramelized Onions with Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)

Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl until blended. Mix  in pepper. Shape half of meat mixture into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties. Shape  remaining meat mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties. (Can be made 8 hours  ahead. Cover and chill.)

Prepare barbecue  (medium-high heat). Grill patties to desired doneness, topping with cheese for  last minute of cooking, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare 1/2-inch-thick  patties, and about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare 1-inch-thick patties.  Place burgers on bottom halves of buns. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions (if desired) and upper  halves of buns.

YIELDS: 4 adult sized servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (Bako Sweet Onions are on sale)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup canned chicken broth
1/2 cup purchased barbecue sauce (Saz’s BBQ Sauce is on sale)
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white  vinegar

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt and pepper;  cook until onions begin to brown, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Add  broth, barbecue sauce and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce  thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover; chill. Rewarm before serving.)

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | June 25th, 2013