Homemade burgers are not my forte. I really don't like working with ground beef and cooking it on a grill for food safety reasons. I can and do make good burgers, but it's not my favorite food to cook. So when I do want a homemade burger, it's because I can't find another one like it at any restaurant.
This Tex Mex recipe was inspired by my recipe for Mexican Pizza, the first recipe I ever developed. The combination of refried beans in the meat adds fabulous flavor and texture and solves the problem of a well-done burger, which is usually dry. Just 1/3 cup of refried beans is enough to add wonderful moisture to the meat.
When you cook burgers, especially on the grill, it's important that they are covered to hold in the heat. Make sure the grill grate is thoroughly cleaned, and oil it very lightly before you add the burgers. Don't press down on the burgers while they cook, because you'll just press out all the juice and the burgers will be dry. Turn the burgers only once, and carefully. And always make sure that the meat - any ground meat - is cooked to 160°F as tested with a reliable meat thermometer before you serve it.
I love to top this burger with some homemade guacamole, lettuce, a big thick slice of juicy ripe tomato, some spicy Pepper jack cheese, and serve it on a toasted onion bun. You could also add some salsa (homemade or purchased), some pickled jalapeno peppers, or sliced avocado.
Heat the refried beans and serve them on the side, along with potato salad and a fruit salad. Enjoy every spicy bite.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/3 cup canned refried beans
- 2 tablespoons taco sauce
- 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1-1/2 pounds ground chuck (85%)
- 4 slices Pepper Jack cheese
- 4 onion buns (split and toasted)
- 1 cup guacamole
- 4 slices tomato (thick)
- For Toppings:
- Garnish: lettuce, to liking
- Garnish: mayonnaise, to liking
In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, onion, and garlic. Microwave on high power for 1 minute; remove and stir. Continue microwaving for 30-second intervals on high, stirring after each interval, until the veggies are tender. Place in a large bowl.
Add the refried beans, taco sauce, jalapeno peppers, salt, and pepper to the onion mixture and stir. Then add the ground chuck and mix gently but thoroughly with your hands.
Form into 4 patties. Press your thumb into the center of each patty so the burgers don't puff up while cooking.
Prepare and preheat the grill. Cook the burgers for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, turning once, until a meat thermometer registers 160°F. Add the cheese slices during the last minute of cooking so it melts.
Assemble the burgers with the toasted buns, guacamole, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise.