RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Black Mesa Burgers

I love this great local All American Burger in all its variations. It represents the flavors and ingredients of Oklahoma and the entire region perfectly. Named for the Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma, it boasts a glaze of lots of black pepper, some blackstrap molasses, black coffee and Sutter Home Merlot. By tucking away (as a surprise!) two of my favorite cheeses, popularized by increasingly available local Hispanic markets, no one will miss the traditional old cheese slice on the patty. Fresh, locally-grown sweet corn (silver queen and candy corn are my favorites), complements savory worcestershire-spiked, chile- and onion- boosted Oklahoma beef, especially when folded into creamy avocado and spiked with a bit of lime. While I like my burgers pretty tall, I want to be able to take a bite out of the entire stack to get the full effect. So I add just basic burger fixins', lettuce, tomato, bacon and mayonnaise, to round out the burger without making it so tall it might rival the Black Mesa. I enjoy this burger tremendously with a glass of Sutter Home Merlot to complement the glaze and the black peppery slant of the burger.

Ingredients 

2 lbs. ground beef chuck
1/4 cup Lea and Perrins Worcestershire
6 oz. crumbled/finely chopped panela cheese
3-4 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 cup chopped roasted peeled poblano chiles
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup Sutter Home Merlot
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated cotija cheese
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 cup lightly mashed California avocado
1/3 cup Colavita olive oil
2 small or one large ear of fresh supersweet corn*
6 strips pepper bacon, cut in half
6 large split onion rolls
12 medium leaves iceberg lettuce
6 large slices red ripe tomato
2-3 tbsp. mayonnaise

Instructions 

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Crumble beef into large bowl and sprinkle with worcestershire. Add panela cheese, 2 tsp. salt, chiles and onion. Mix gently and form into 6 patties.

Mix molasses, merlot, coffee granules, and black pepper until granules are dissolved. Brush over burgers and let rest five minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cotija cheese, lime juice and avocado; add salt to taste and reserve.

Drizzle patties with olive oil and rub grill rack with remaining oil. Place corn on grill for 1-2 minutes, turning 1/4 turn every 30 seconds or so. Remove and cool; cut 1 cup of kernels from the cob(s) and fold into avocado mixture.

Grill patties and bacon about 4 minutes per side, or until patties are medium-rare to medium and bacon is done. Last minute of cooking, lightly toast cut side of rolls.

Place lettuce on bottom halves of rolls. Add a scoop of the corn mixture then a grilled patty. Top with a tomato slice and bacon (two half-strips per burger). Spread the cut side of roll tops with mayonnaise and place on the bacon.

Serve immediately

Serves 6

Comments 

*If you don't have fresh Oklahoma supersweet corn on the cob, you can substitute frozen supersweet corn (about 1 cup). Just place it on a small skillet or fine mesh grill basket over the heat of the grill and stir 1-2 minutes (or until heated). Oklahoma molasses/sorghum helps keep the burger true to its origins, but store-bought works too.