Spice Up Your Burger Life with Southwest Flavor

This is an updated version of my Southwestern Burgers – a little less pork, eliminating the liquid smoke (replaced with Mesquite Seasoning) and tweaking the seasonings just a bit to adjust for the reduction of meat.

As sliders, the original recipe was fine – those little burgers grilled up nicely. As full size “manly” burgers, all that grease from the sausage and liquids made for burgers that didn’t “grill” well. And then there were all those flair ups of flames to contend with – not fun!

In addition to adjusting the ingredients, the method of cooking has also been changed. A big griddle or cast iron skillet works wonders for the larger patties. When properly heated, the outside will develop a nice char with the burgers remain juicy.

These full-flavored burgers need a roasted potato packed with spicy flavor. Red Roasted Cajun Potatoes  (pictured) are the perfect side for these Southwest Burgers.

Southwest Burgers
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lbs Jimmy Dean Regular Sausage
1/4 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 6-8 crackers)
8 slices pepper jack cheese
8 hamburger buns, split
Mesquite Seasoning, to taste
Green Leaf Lettuce, optional
Sliced Tomato, optional
Ketchup, if desired
Mayonnaise, if desired
Mustard, if desired
Thousand Island Dressing, if desired

In a large bowl, combine green chilies, Worcestershire, Chili Powder, Cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well. Crumble meats into the bowl. With clean hands, work the mixture together.

Crush the crackers and dump into the bowl. Again with clean hands, work the crackers into the meat mixture.

Shape meat mixture into eight patties, about a quarter pound each. Season patties on both sides with a little Mesquite Seasoning. Set aside.

Heat a griddle or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, grill up half of the burgers until just cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Place cooked burgers on a rack over a rimmed baking pan to catch the drippings and hold in a warm oven.

Repeat with remaining four burgers.

Remove pan from oven, top burgers with Pepper Jack Cheese and return to oven to keep warm and let the cheese melt.

Split buns and brush with a little soft butter. Toast buns, cut side down, on skillet or griddle until warm and nicely toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve up burgers on warm buns. Have condiments, lettuce and tomatoes at the ready for diners to dress up their burgers to their liking.

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