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Cinnamon Chipotle Beef Burgers with Apple Smoked Gruyere Cheese and Adobo Mayonnaise

I am 38 years old, and a Wildlife Biologist at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. In July, I earned my PhD, and continue to work on new ways to control raccoon rabies. My research includes wildlife disease and ecology.
My fondness for food prompted a wonderful hobby of trying new ideas and turning some of my favorite foods into new creations. I decided to incorporate 3 of my favorite ingredients into a burger for this contest. The combination of smoked ingredients and grilled patty, results in a full-flavored burger.

Ingredients 

3/4 cup commercial or homemade mayonnaise
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
1-1/4 pounds ground sirloin
1 pound ground chuck (15% fat)
6 ounces finely minced uncooked applewood smoked bacon
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1 full cup shredded apple smoked Gruyere cheese
4 tablespoons cinnamon chipotle rub, such as McCormick Grill Mates, DIVIDED
12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices peeled, cored tart large apples, such as Granny Smith
Olive oil for brushing the grill rack, apple slices, and cut sides of rolls
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices apple smoked Gruyere cheese
6 crusty oblong French rolls, split
3 cups chopped or julienne cut romaine lettuce

Instructions 

To make the mayonnaise: Combine mayonnaise and adobo sauce together in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties: Spread the ground beef out in a large shallow pan. Sprinkle with minced bacon, salt, and shredded cheese. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix together well. With oiled hands, divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Sprinkle each side of the patties with 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon chipotle rub, then pat each gently for spices to adhere to the patties. Cover and set aside, or chill until needed.

Lightly brush grill rack and both sides of apple slices with oil, then sprinkle both sides evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cinnamon chipotle rub.

When the grill is ready, and using a large metal spatula or tongs, place apple slices on the grill rack. Cover and cook, turning once for about 2 minutes per side, until crisp tender. Remove from rack; transfer to a large sheet of aluminum foil. Carefully wrap in foil, and set aside.

If needed, brush grill rack again with oil. Place patties on the rack; cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the foil package of apple slices on outer edges of the grill to warm, then place 2 slices of cheese evenly over each cooked side of each patty. Brush split sides of rolls with olive oil. Place rolls, cut side down, on outer edges of the grill rack to lightly toast. Cover; grill until patties are done to your preference.

Remove rolls from grill rack, spread split sides of rolls with mayonnaise.

To assemble the burgers: On each of a bottom roll, evenly arrange 1/2 cup romaine lettuce. Top each with a burger, 2 apple slices and a roll top.

Comments 

I usually serve Sutter Home Shiraz with this smoky flavored burger. I find that this red varietal goes well with the smoked grilled apples in this recipe.