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I'm a Pepper Chipotle Burger

Ask any native Texan (or those of us who got here as fast as we could), and we'll tell ya'll, Dr. Pepper is "the nectar of the gods". Born in Waco Texas, Dr. Pepper has been the favorite soft drink of Texans since 1885. Its headquarters are in Plano, Tx and the original pure cane sugar version can still be bought at the last remaining original Dr. Pepper Plant in Dublin, Tx. Dr. Pepper is as Texan as cowboys and the Alamo.

Former CEO and president of Dr. Pepper, W. W. Clements, said it best; "I've always maintained you can't tell anyone what Dr Pepper tastes like because it's so different. It's not an apple, it's not an orange, it's not a strawberry, it's not a root beer, it's not even a cola. It's a different kind of drink with a unique taste all its own."

Much like the complexities of a fine wine, Dr. Pepper brings to the table a unique set of 23 flavor profiles, providing depth, sweetness, aroma and flavor that complement perfectly the flavor of ground beef.

This burger marries the complex sweetness of Dr. Pepper with the smoky spiciness of chipotle peppers combined with the down-home southern flavor of hickory smoked bacon; it is the epitome of Texas cuisine.

Ingredients 

Dr. Pepper Reduction:
18 strips thick-cut hickory smoked bacon
3 whole shallots minced
2 gloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Dr. Pepper

Chipotle Cream Cheese Spread:
8 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
6 tsp Tabasco brand chipotle sauce
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp ketchup

Patties:
3 Lbs ground chuck
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs fresh sweet basil chiffonade
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dr. Pepper Reduction
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack.
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper in a spray bottle

12 medium Grilled onion rings
6 high quality hamburger buns (such as Mrs. Bairds)
3 cups Baby spring greens (baby romaine, baby spinach and radicchio) divided into 6 equal portions

Instructions 

To make the Dr. Pepper reduction, heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm. Drain the bacon grease from the pan, and return it to the grill. Add shallots, garlic, salt and pepper, cook until onions are transparent, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add Dr. Pepper, and cook until reduced by half, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to get all the browned bacon bits from the pan. When mixture has reduced by half, remove from heat, set aside, let cool.

While the reduction cools, make the spread by combining cream cheese, sour cream, Tabasco chipotle sauce, salt and ketchup in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Move to a small bowl and refrigerate until serving.

To make the patties, combine the meat with the basil, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper and the Dr. Pepper reduction. Mix to combine being careful to not overwork the meat. Form into 6 equal portions and round into patties to fit the buns.

Heat your grill to medium heat and brush your grill rack lightly with vegetable oil to prevent the patties from sticking. Place the patties evenly over the grill rack and cook, turning once, 5-7 min on each side for medium doneness. Spritz patties several times during cooking process with Dr. Pepper on each side. When you flip your patties, lay your onion rings on the grill, turning once to caramelize the edges. During the final few minutes of cooking lay your buns, cut side down on the outer (or upper) grill racks to toast lightly. Remove the patties, onions and buns from the grill and set aside.

To assemble the burgers, coat the cut side of each bun liberally with the cream cheese spread. To each bottom bun add a patty, baby greens, 3 slices of bacon, 2 onion rings, and top with the bun tops. Serve immediately.

Comments 

Dr. Pepper is a registered trademark of Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc. and is no way affiliated with this recipe.

Ideally this recipe is made using the original Dr. Pepper recipe made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar, which can be found widely available in most grocery stores in Texas, but rarely found outside this state. However, the use of the common high-fructose corn syrup version found everywhere is acceptable.