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Basque Cheesburgers on Sheepherder's Bread

Thirty-seven years ago I married into a Basque family and now living in Nevada have come to appreciate the culinary heritage of the Basques. This is a flavorful recipe reminiscent of the chorizo sausage and the red pepper relish brings a note of the Basque piperade--an omelet full of red peppers and onions.

Ingredients 

2 large yellow onions (2 chopped and 2 sliced)
3 red bell peppers, thinly sliced.
2 Tbsp honey olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
2tsp. minced garlic
2-1/2 lbs. ground chuck
8 tsp. chili powder, divided
2 tsp. oregano
3 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
9 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
1/2 cup canned enchilada sauce
6 slices of pepper jack cheese
2 bunches arugula, washed and dried well
12 slices Basque sheepherder's bread--I bake my own but you can find the bread in most large grocery stores. (or 6 french rolls can be substituted) salt and pepper

Instructions 

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a cast iron fry pan. Add the 2 sliced onions,sliced red peppers, honey and 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Place pan on grill over moderate heat. Saute for 20 to 30 minutes until well cooked. Set aside. Combine ground beef, 2 chopped onions, 6 tsp. chili powder, oregano, ground cumin, cinnamon, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 7 Tbsp. vinegar and the enchilada sauce. When thoroughly mixed form into six burgers. Shape to fit bread or rolls and about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. After grill comes to heat, cook on "medium-off-medium" setting for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. After you turn the burgers, place a slice of pepper jack cheese on top of each to melt for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Mix 1 cup of mayonnaise with the minced garlic and the remaining 2 tsp. chili powder until combined. To assemble burger lightly grill sliced bread (or rolls). Spread both sides (of bread or rolls) with garlic mayonnaise. Place cheese topped burger on one slice of bread, top with pepper relish and arugula. Top with other slice of bread or roll. Cut burger in half and serve.

Comments 

This seems a very unusual combination of ingredients--believe it or not the cinnamon and vinegar in the burger recipe really add that Basque chorizo taste to the sandwich. Fill up your bota bag with Sutter zinfandel and enjoy!