Beef, cheese, poblano and beer — an ad­dic­tive burger emerges

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FOOD - By Sara Moul­ton

The an­ces­tor of this recipe was a beloved burger on the menu of a bar where I was a cook back in my col­lege days.

Work­ing on a flat­top grill (the same sur­face used in din­ers to cook hash browns), we’d top the burger with a spe­cial mix of veg­gies, top the veg­gies with a slice of Amer­i­can cheese, douse the whole con­coc­tion with beer, then cover it with a dome lid and steam the burger un­til the cheese melted.

It was ad­dic­tive — and I don’t even like beer.

This recipe re­pur­poses that burger with fresher in­gre­di­ents and sharp ched­dar. I call for ground chuck be­cause it’s not too lean. The higher per­cent­age of fat makes the burger juicier and more fla­vor­ful. When­ever you add fat to a recipe, it’s just go­ing to taste bet­ter.

The poblanos are roasted for three rea­sons: to soften the chili’s tex­ture, to make it eas­ier to re­move the tough peel, and to de­velop a slight char taste. I rec­om­mend roast­ing them un­der the broiler, but if you have gas burn­ers, you can place them right on top of a burner and char them over a low flame. If you want to skip this step to save time, you can swap in canned chilies in­stead.

These burg­ers need to be cooked on a burner on top of the stove — not on a grill. That’s so the juices that ac­cu­mu­late in the bot­tom of the skil­let can be deglazed with beer and turned into a “sauce” (more like drip­pings) to pour onto the burger at the end. If you’re a beer lover, choose a ro­bust brand, which will amp up the

burger’s fla­vor.

I can’t pre­tend that this is a low-cal dish, but I do think it’s a jus­ti­fi­able (and de­li­cious) end-of-summer in­dul­gence.


Start to fin­ish: 1 hour (40 ac­tive)

Serv­ings: 6


1 large poblano (about 4 ounces) or one 4.5 ounce can chilies

3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil, di­vided plus ex­tra oil for oil­ing the chili

2 cups sliced onion salt and black pep­per ½ cup may­on­naise 1 tea­spoon minced gar­lic 1½ ta­ble­spoons minced chipo­tle in adobo

1½ pounds ground chuck, di­vided into 6 pat­ties (shape them so that all of them will fit into one large skil­let with­out touch­ing)

6 ounces sliced ched­dar cheese ½ cup beer 6 toasted buns


Pre­heat the broiler. Lightly oil the chili on all sides and set it on a shelf about 4 inches from the heat source. Us­ing tongs, turn the poblano of­ten, un­til the skin is black­ened on all sides, about 10 to 15 min­utes.

Trans­fer the chili to a bowl, cover tightly with plas­tic wrap, and set it aside un­til it is cool enough to han­dle. When the chili is cool, peel and seed it and cut it into thin strips: put it back in the bowl.

In a large skil­let cook the onion in 1 ta­ble­spoon of the oil, over medium heat, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the onion is golden brown, about 8 to 10 min­utes. Add the cooked onion to the bowl with the chili and add salt

and pep­per to taste. Wipe out the skil­let and set it aside.

In a small bowl stir to­gether the may­on­naise, gar­lic and chipo­tle.

In the skil­let, heat the re­main­ing oil over medium high heat. Sea­son the burg­ers on both sides with salt and pep­per and add them to the skil­let. Re­duce the heat to medium and cook them for 2 min­utes a side.

Trans­fer the burg­ers to a plate and pour off all but 2 ta­ble­spoons of the fat from the pan. Re­turn the burg­ers to the pan and top each burger with one-sixth of the chili mix­ture, fol­lowed by a slice of cheese.

Pour the beer into the pan on top of the burg­ers and cover the pan with a lid. Re­duce the heat to a

sim­mer and let the burg­ers steam for 2 min­utes or un­til the cheese is melted and the burg­ers are cooked to the de­sired de­gree of done­ness (you can nick and peek in­side one).

While the burg­ers are cook­ing, spread chipo­tle may­on­naise onto the bot­tom and top of each bun. Trans­fer the cooked cheese­burg­ers to the bot­tom half of the buns. Turn up the heat in the skil­let and boil the liq­uid un­til it thick­ened. Spoon some of the re­duced cook­ing liq­uid over each burger. Top with the re­main­ing bun half.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 558 calo­ries; 317 calo­ries from fat; 35 g fat (11 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 96 mg choles­terol; 828 mg sodium; 27 g car­bo­hy­drate; 2 g fiber; 5 g su­gar; 34 g pro­tein.


This photo shows beer-steamed chili cheese­burg­ers in Ashby, Mass. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moul­ton.

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