New Mexico style green chile cheeseburger
New Mexico, is known for its wonderful “Big Jim” (New Mexico #6) green chiles, even to the point of having numerous autumn festivals using it as the primary theme. Many dishes here utilize this amazing ingredient in one form or another, the green chile cheeseburger being one of the favorites.
- 600g 80% lean minced beef
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil (plus a little more for the barbecue)
- 2 New Mexico “Big Jim” chiles, roasted, peeled and diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, minced
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 slices mild Cheddar cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
Prep:30min › Cook:15min › Ready in:45min
- Divide the minced beef into 4 relatively equal portions. Press each portion into a patty slightly larger in diameter than the buns. Press the centre portion of the patties slightly thinner than the edges (burgers tend to “dome up” when grilled, and doing this results in a flatter top).
- Lightly oil the grill’s cooking grate and preheat to high.
- While the grill is heating, place 2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan and heat over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add in the green chiles, jalapeño (if using) and red onion. Stir frequently until the onion has softened, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, but keep it warm.
- When the grill is hot, place the patties on the grate, concave side down. Grill for 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired doneness, then flip. Open the buns and put them on the grate to toast. Grill the patties on the flipped side for 2 minutes, then top each patty with the chile mixture and a slice of cheese. Close the lid of the grill for a minute or two to allow the cheese to melt. Place the patties in the buns and serve hot.
Steps 1 and 3 may both be done ahead of time and the patties and topping stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Allow the patties to come back to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before grilling and re-heat the topping in a pan before putting it on the patties.
For minimum spicy heat, remove the seeds and veins from the jalapeño before dicing. Leave the seeds and veins in for a modicum of heat. For those who want more heat, use a serrano chile. Real chile-heads may wish to kick it up even further by using an habanero or Scotch bonnet chile. Be aware that when working with spicy chiles, the oils soak into the skin an may cause a good deal of discomfort. Do not rub your eyes! You can wear latex-type gloves to prevent this, and/or rinse your hands off with milk or cream and then wash them thoroughly.
New Mexico green chiles may be purchased in bulk on the internet. Once received, they can be roasted (blackened) over a gas cooker flame or in a medium high oven. Once blackened, wrap them in damp kitchen paper for a few minutes to let them self-steam, and then scrape them with a knife blade to remove the waxy skin. They may then be frozen (2 per plastic bag) and brought out whenever needed. We use them nearly every day here on the ranch, and roast and peel 40-60 pounds of them each autumn.