PEPPER JACK CHEESE AND CHILI BURGER

COWBOY CHILI REDUX:  PEPPER JACK CHEESE AND CHILI BURGER

Burgers, beef burgers with chili and pepper jack cheese (San Antonio burger) 1 Burgers, beef burgers with chili and pepper jack cheese (San Antonio burger) 2

1-½ pounds 100% ground chuck (about 80% lean)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

vegetable oil for grill rack

a cup or so cowboy chili, heated

shredded pepper jack cheese


  1. Break up chuck to increase surface area for seasoning. Sprinkle salt and pepper over meat and toss lightly with hands to distribute.  Divide meat into 4 equal portions (6 ounces each).  With cupped hands, toss one portion back and forth to form a loose ball.  Pat lightly to flatten meat into a 1 inch thick burger that measures about 4-1/2 inches across.  (Do not over-handle meat or your burger will be tough).  Pressing down with your thumb, or with the back of a measuring spoon, make a ¼ inch depression in the center of each patty, creating a shallow well. (This makes them come off the grill flat, not puffed in the center).  Repeat with remaining portions of meat.
  1. Heat a well-seasoned large cast-iron skillet over moderately high heat until it is hot, sprinkle it evenly with the coarse salt, and in it cook the patties, covered, for 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat.
  1. Spread several tablespoons chili over each grilled burger, top with shredded pepper jack cheese, cover and let melt, about 2 minutes. Serve burgers immediately.

NOTE:  For those misguided souls who like their burgers well-done, poking a small hole in the center of the patty before cooking helps the center to cook before the edges dry out. 

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