• Sean Bardwell

Smoked Pepper Burgers

BbQ. Burgers. Tacos. My three favorite things to eat and my three favorite things to make. I'm also a big fan of bringing these flavors together in one tasty meal. This burger had a little bit of all of them.

Based on the response this burger has received (thank you), I have decided to show my appreciation by sharing the recipe.

These hatch chiles were the inspiration for this burger. I've heard of hatch chiles and have heard people singing their praise, yet I have never tried them myself. Hatch chiles are only available for a limited season. Around the same time that everyone starts going pumpkin spice crazy, which is now, so I lucked out and found these at my local grocery store. I didn't really have a plan when I saw them, other than I wanted to try them. I put a bag into my cart and the idea for the burger came to me almost instantly.

One of my favorite condiments to make right now is my Smoked Jalapeno Jelly. I decided to sub the Hatch Chiles for the Jalapenos.

I started by seasoning some of the hatch chiles and two green bell peppers with my Bourbon Barrel Coffee rub and smoking them with apple wood. This is the process I use to make my Smoked Jalapeno Jelly. I know that roasting hatch chiles is traditionally how they are prepared. I decided to roast a handful over some lump charcoal and a little oak & cherry wood.

Next, I made the Jelly. I decided to go "all in" and used all of the smoked and roasted peppers. I typically go through a jar of my Smoked Jalapeno Jelly in a week or two so I thought, why not (I already used it in another recipe last night and plan on putting it in one tonight too). Along with the peppers I used Pink Lady apples, because they are my favorite. A little sweet and a little tart. The peppers and apples get tossed into a food processor and pulsed until they are a pulp. This pulp goes into a saucepan with sugar and cider vinegar and simmered...

...2lbs of hatch chiles, 2 green bell peppers, 2 pink lady apples, sugar and vinegar yielded about this much!

I may have gone a bit overboard.

I added some of the Hatch Chile Jelly to a ground beef and brisket blend with some of my Bourbon Smoked Salt & Pepper. I topped it with White American Cheese to try not to over power the other flavors.

I decided I wanted Smash Burgers but I didn't want to smoke out my kitchen so I opted for a cast iron on the Weber Kettle. It worked out beautifully.

To top the burger I made a tomatillo salsa using more of the hatch chile salsa.

Put it all together and you have my Smoked Pepper Burger!

Obviously, feel free to use a different pepper, different seasonings, different cheese...make it your own: "Always Play With Your Food!


Smoked Pepper Burgers

Yields: 4 burgers

1 lb ground beef

2 TBL Smoked Hatch Chile Jelly

1 tsp S&P

8 White American cheese slices

4 brioche buns

6 TBL Tomatilla Salsa

Smoked Hatch Chile Jelly

3/4 cup roughly chopped, smoked hatch chiles

1/2 cup roughly chopped green bell pepper, smoked

1/2 Pink Lady apple, cored and cut into chunks

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 cup white sugar

Put chopped hatch chiles, pepper and apple into a blender or food processor. Blend for about 1 minute until it is very finely chopped - almost like a paste.

Put pepper mixture, vinegar and sugar into a tall-sided saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once thickened, remove from heat. Put jelly into a glass jar and let cool at room temperature. Then store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Tomatillo Salsa

3/4 lb (about 5-6) medium tomatillos, husks removed, tomatillos cored and quartered

6 TBL smoked pepper jelly

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 TBL fresh lime juice

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp agave nectar

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add tomatillos and return to a boil; cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Drain well and let cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add pepper jelly, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt, onion powder and agave nectar and process until very smooth, about 30 seconds.

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

To Make the Burgers:

Combine the beef, pepper jelly and S&P in a large bowl and mix until combined. Shape into 8 (2 1/2 oz) balls.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over high heat until smoking. Probably not a bad idea to spray or add a little oil to prevent sticking. Add 4 meatballs and immediately flatten to 1/4" thickness with a sturdy, wide spatula. Cook until the bottoms are crisp and deep brown, about 1 minute. Flip patties, top each with 1 cheese slice and cook until the bottoms are charred and the cheese is melted, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Repeat.

Toast the buns, if desired. Place 2 patties on a bun and top with about 1 1/2 TBL salsa.

"Eat this & B well"

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