RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Blazin’ Bacon Barbacoa Burgers with Sweet Corn Salsa and Avocado Crema


2 lbs. ground chuck
¼ cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1/3 cup grated onion
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 ½ tablespoons minced, seeded chipotles in adobo
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon all spice

Sweet Corn Salsa:
3 medium ears of corn, husks and silk removed
2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
¼ cup minced red onion
2 ½ tablespoons minced cilantro
Generous ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice

Avocado Crema:
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 ½ Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
2 Avocadoes, peeled and chopped

12 strips center cut bacon
Vegetable oil for brushing the grill
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
6 good quality hamburger buns, split


Prepare a medium-hot fire on a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, Cabernet Sauvignon, onion, garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and all spice in a large bowl. Form into 6 patties, being careful not to overwork the meat. Make a slight indentation in the center of each patty so that they will cook evenly. Cover and refrigerate.
Prepare the sweet corn salsa. Drizzle the corn with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and grill 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until slightly charred and cooked through. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and place them in a medium bowl. Add the red onion, cilantro, and salt and stir to combine. Whisk the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of oil and the lime juice together in a small bowl and pour over the salsa. Toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Prepare the avocado crema. In a food processor, blend the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, and Serrano peppers until smooth. Add the avocadoes and pulse until combined but still with some small pieces, not completely pureed. Cover and set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large fireproof, nonstick skillet on the grill until crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper plate lined with paper towels. Wrap in foil to keep warm.
Brush the grill with oil. Place the burger patties on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side for medium doneness. During the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, top each burger with a slice of cheese and close the grill to melt it. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the opened hamburger buns cut side down on the edges of the grill and toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, spread some avocado crema on each bun half. Place a cheese-topped burger patty on each bottom bun. Top each patty with 2 slices of bacon and equal portions of sweet corn salsa. Add the bun tops and serve.
This recipe makes 6 burgers.


My name is Sonali Ruder and I’m an Emergency Room doctor in New York City, but in my free time, I love to cook and develop new recipes. Finishing as second runner-up at last year’s Build a Better Burger cook-off was an amazing experience, but this year, I would love the chance to compete again and bring home the grand prize. This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite Mexican dishes- barbacoa. Barbacoa is a traditional Mexican dish in which meat is slow cooked over an open fire or in a pit covered with leaves until it is very tender. I wanted to make a burger incorporating some of the traditional flavors of barbacoa with the addition of a few other ingredients to give it a smoky, slow-cooked taste. The result is a delicious, spicy burger that is nicely balanced by the sweet corn salsa and cooling avocado crema. I also added bacon because it complements the smokiness of the burger patties, plus you can’t go wrong with bacon on a burger!