Saturday, March 2, 2013

Manchego Jalapeno Burgers

One of the food trends that we discussed at the Kingsford Invitational* back in November was Beer Goes Gourmet.

Beer Goes Gourmet
While wine used to be the go-to beverage for gourmands, beer is asserting itself both in the kitchen and on the table.  For a marinade or braising liquid, it simultaneously tenderizes while enhancing the smoky flavors of meat cooked on the grill.  Since the United States currently has the highest number of breweries since the pre-Prohibition era, now is the time to experiment with unique brews and barbecue.  So, crack open a six-pack and save some for Chris Lilly's Shock Top Honey Mustard Glaze ~reprinted courtesy of Kingsford
This burger is inspired by that.  Instead of just throwing on a piece of cheese, I made a veloute sauce for the cheese sauce base but instead of stock, I used beer as the liquid.  I used a lager to contrast the spicy jalapeno and briny manchego cheese.

Manchego Jalapeno Burgers, Big Green Egg burger recipe, kamado grill burger recipe, grill dome burger recipe, kamado joe burger recipe
Manchego Jalapeno Burgers

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients (4 burgers)
    You'll need
    • 1 1/3 pounds ground round or ground chuck
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
    • 4 hamburger buns
    • desired toppings such as pickles, lettuce, tomato, and red onion
    For the Manchego Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
    • 1 T butter
    • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
    • 1 T all purpose flour
    • 3/4 c Stella Artois beer
    • 1 c manchego cheese, shredded
    • 1 t cilantro, finely chopped
    • 1/2 to 1 t minced fire roasted jalapeno (see notes)
    • 1/4 t smoked paprika
    • 1/8 t salt
    • 1/8 t pepper
    • 1 T non-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
    1. Season the beef with salt, pepper, and garlic. Divide into 4 equal portions (5.3 oz by weight) and form into patties 5" in diameter. Place in the refrigerator.
    2. Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Saute garlic for 1 minute and then stir in the flour to form a blond roux.
    3. Add the beer in 1/4 c increments, whisking continuously to blend between additions.  Simmer until slightly thickened, 7-10 minutes.
    4. Whisk in cheese in small batches until melted and smooth.
    5. Stir in the seasonings and yogurt. Taste and add salt/pepper to adjust if desired.
    6. Preheat a charcoal grill to 450f.
    7. Grill burgers until done, about 4 minutes per side.
    8. Place burgers on buns and ladle the cheese sauce over the patties. Add other toppings as desired.
    Fire roasted jalapeno note: For spicier sauce, use 1/2 Tbsp of jalapeno. If you prefer, you can use canned green chiles for convenience but I like the smoky flavor of roasting my own jalapeno.  Tips for fire roasting chile peppers

    Tip:  If your sauce gets too thick while sitting, just whisk in a little more beer (1/2 tablespoon at a time).
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    In the beer-food pairing class at Anheuser-Busch, we learned that lager has a crisp, dry finish that gives a perfect contrast to spicy cuisines.

    serated spoon, cleaning chile tool
    My favorite tool for peeling and seeding roasted chiles - a grapefruit spoon.  The serrated edges work wonders.
    I also made a version of the Chris Lilly's pickle recipe except the pickles weren't grilled and I sliced them instead of spears, still tastes great.

    I served this with sweet potato fries (from frozen, I didn't prep them myself) and a fry dipping sauce of mayo, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, and ginger.
    Manchego Burger, Big Green Egg burger recipe, kamado grill recipe

    *[Note: The Kingsford Invitational will be on television shortly, I'll let you know when it broadcasts.]

    Ribs Quickie
    I also smoked some pork back ribs (what most places market as "baby back" ribs) last weekend but I didn't do a post since it was nothing new.  Here's the condensed version.

    Big green egg ribs, how to remove rib membrane
    I remove spare rib membranes from the end but baby backs are easier to remove from the middle.
    mustard ribs, French's ribs, Big green egg ribs,
    A quick slather of yellow mustard as a binder.  I didn't mean to make the first two look like the letter A.

    seasoned BBQ ribs, BBQ rib prep
    Used Melissa Cookston's basic rub recipe.

    Smoked at 250f with cherry/hickory wood for almost 5 hours.  Spritzed with apple juice a few times.  Never foiled.

    I overlapped them a little to get them to fit.
    Never got any plated shots the first night.

    But they were good leftovers the next night, albeit much darker after reheating and second dose of Blues Hog.
    That is one of the best things about being a BBQ hound - knowing you have a bunch of leftover BBQ in the fridge for quick dinners during the week!  


    1. I am a new fan of manchego cheese and this sounds amazing! I can't think of a single meal you've ever posted I wouldn't happily dive into, Chris.

      Awesome tip on using a grapefruit spoon too! Why didn't I ever think of that?

    2. If Marlon Brando had been yelling "Stella Artois" in "Streetcar Named Desire," would that line be so famous today. Marvelous post.

    3. Good GRIEF Chris, this burger looks and sounds awesome! Insert "I'm not worthy bow here"

      I need to experiment more with beer. I've used it a couple of times and have loved the results. I've also used Woodchuck Hard Cider in a couple of things and really like what it does. I don't think my grapefruit spoon has ever met a grapefruit but I use it for so many things. Great tip on peppers. I've used it for seeding jalapeno's but never thought about peeling. I'm roasting some poblanos for a dish for dinne tonight. I'll give it a try.

      AND.....I did indeed make your twice baked potatoes last weekend. Chris they were delicious!!! Loved..loved..loved them.

      ok, I'm done fawning.

    4. That cheese sauce looks amazing! I love manchego cheese. I will be try the burgers next week.

    5. OMG!!!! I like all of your recipes and ideas but this one is WOW!!!!!! the burger and manchego jalapeno cheese sauce is excellent. I bet I use this sauce on other meats too.


    6. Wow - that manchego cheese sauce looks amazing... I love a good roasted pepper and cheese is my absolute favorite, so I know this would be a huge hit. I've never made ribs before - I think it should be a goal for the coming summer!

    7. Too much goodness. Pickles. Cheese sauce. Beer.

    8. I'm pretty sure we were available for both of these delicious meals - your shots are awesome. I must try that cheese sauce and as for the grapefruit spoon tip - duh, why didn't I think of that as they are right beside the tablespoons I normally use.

    9. Oh boy! Your burger plate looks and sounds terrific.

    10. Manchego is literally my favorite cheese! OMG, I think this is my favorite post. The cheese sauce rocks too. If you have any contest opportunities....ENTER that BURGER!


    11. Those pickles look great! I like the use of blues hog on the ribs. I usually cut it with a more vinegary sauce as I find it a tab bit sweet for my liking. Awesome Post!

    12. The Grapefruit spoon for seeding peppers is a great Idea! I might have to borrow that if you don't mind.


    13. If you want some interesting ideas on cooking with real craft beer, check out Sean Paxton's blog at

      He's doing some really interesting things with beer as an ingredient and experimenting with hops themselves as herbs.

    14. The burger looks amazing, especially with that cheese sauce. I am so excited about your tip with the grapefruit spoon!!! The ribs look killer, like usual. Once again, I am wishing you were my neighbor.

    15. I am a huge Manchego cheese fan!That sauce sounds amazing, Chris!What a delicious dish!

    16. OMG, I was SO stupid to look at your blog before eating - filled as it is with burgers and fries and fixin's and ribs - knowing full well what to expect. 'Cause I've got yogurt, berries, and granola for lunch, which is hardly worthy of the ravenous cravings I'm now being subjected to ... whimper ....

    17. Everything in this post has me chomping at the bit! Love the burger with the manchego beer sauce! And the fresh pickles, the ribs and fries. I could eat second dinner now.

    18. Chris, you are a meat genius. This is my first visit to your blog but I'm already drooling over the melting cheese, tender ribs and... argh, everything else! As an Australian, I've never heard of manchengo cheese. It sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing your techniques and recipes with us!

    19. That sauce! That sauce! How do you come up with these things?!?!?! Can I seriously just drink the sauce?!?! Well I want the burger too but I could literally just drink the sauce too. It looks incredible!!

    20. Awesome looking ribs, I am going to try it with the yellow mustard...and I can't wait to show A.J. the pickles! He's been a pickling fool lately!

    21. Pretty much everything I've been cooking lately seems to have some Guinness in it so I think maybe cooking with beer is right up my alley!


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