Probably The Best Cheeseburger Ever…Guilt Free!

So, I jumped on the Tall Grass bandwagon this week.

I’ve been digging my heels in over Tall Grass ever since it came on the meat counter scene a few months back.  It’s a little on the pricey side (actually, a lot on the pricey side), and as my husband would tell you, this blogger doesn’t need another expensive habit. Plus, if I’m staying true to the penny-pinching theme of this little blog, I can’t in good conscience prattle on about a product that isn’t exactly FRUGAL.   But since the Tall Grass Ground Chuck is on sale this week for a very reasonable $3.99/pound, I decided this was the perfect time to give it a try.

My uber health-conscious friend Lori has raved on and on about the benefits of Tall Grass Beef since summer began: “You don’t have to feel guilty about eating Tall Grass,” she says.  Her personal favorite are those cute little sliders you can find at the meat counter – her family loves them!

I did a little research prior to making these burgers.  According to the Tall Grass website, their beef is lower in both saturated fat and total fat than regular beef; also, their cattle are grass fed only (hence the name, I suppose), and are not treated with antibiotics or hormones.

This all sounds great of course, but there’s still that little matter of the steep price tag!  Still, I wanted to try it, based both on my friend Lori’s glowing review, and all of the good information I had read.  The $3.99/pound ground chuck sealed the deal!

Whether they’re made with Tall Grass or plain old ground chuck, these cheeseburgers are THE BEST!!  They were featured in the grill issue of Bon Appetit two or three years ago, and have become a summer tradition for me.

The original recipe calls for a coffee glaze that you brush over the burgers while they’re grilling, but I’ve never bothered with that. Seems a little bit too putzy for me  and I’m not much in to putzing today.  Besides, with the bacon, cheese, grilled onions, and the amazing spicy ranch sauce, ‘coffee glaze’ might be a little overkill!

A couple of notes on the recipe:  don’t shy away from the jalapenos; if you’re careful to seed and de-rib (is that a word?) them, you won’t have a problem with the burgers or the sauce being too hot.  Of course, you can make them both as spicy as you like by adding more cayenne pepper (or leave a few of the seeds on the peppers).  I used the sale bibb lettuce, the sale wheat hamburger buns, and if I hadn’t already had a fridge full of sliced cheese, I would have used the sale Sendiks Salsa Jack, too!

Oh, the verdict on the Tall Grass?  It was excellent!  The burgers were juicy and flavorful.  Bargain shopper that I am, I’m headed back to the Store this afternoon to snap up a few more pounds.  I’m gonna stash ‘em in the freezer for the next time I have a Jalapeno Cheeseburger craving.    Enjoy!

Makes 8 Burgers

Source:  Adapted from “Jalapeno Cheeseburgers with Bacon & Grilled Onions” on

Ranch Sauce:

  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • ½ c. chopped cilantro
  • the juice of one lime
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced and seeded (I’ve also used adobo sauce if I’ve had it on hand)
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper


  • 2 lbs. ground beef (I’ve also used ground turkey, which is also terrific)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. minced, seeded jalapeno
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. ground black pepper
  • ¼ t. cayenne
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced and skewered for easy grilling
  • 16 slices of bacon, cooked and drained on a paper towel
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • 8 slices of your favorite cheese
  • Sliced tomato, if desired

Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together to blend.  Season with salt and pepper.  Chill until ready to serve.

Gently mix all of the burger ingredients together in a large bowl.  Form the mixture into eight ½ to ¾ inch thick patties.  Place on a baking sheet; cover and chill at least two hours.

Prepare the grill (medium high heat).  Grill the skewered onions alongside the burgers until they begin to soften.  Grill the burgers for 5 minutes; turn burgers, and grill until cooked to desired doneness, about 5 minutes longer for medium.  Top each burger with cheese and allow the cheese to melt.

Toast the buns, if desired.  Place lettuce on each bun bottom.  Top with a burger, then with grilled onions, bacon, and sauce.  Cover with bun top.  Serve, passing any remaining sauce at the table.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | July 30th, 2009