National Burger Month Day 24: Chili Cheeseburger

Andrea is gone, but National Burger Month must go on!

Usually, chili cheeseburgers are these messy things. You can order them at fast food restaurants and they usually just give you their regular hamburgers with gooey chili dripping on top. I wanted to make one too, but instead of just my regular burgers with chili on top, I wanted the chili to permeate the very beings of these burgers.

I made the chili first. This was a quick and generic chili so it's probably not going to be a backyard classic anytime. It's a start though, so maybe I'll work with it more in the future to really make it jump.

1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup chipotle chili powder
1/4 pound of ground chuck (optional)
some olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 can of black beans
1 cup of canned whole plum tomatoes with juice (about 16 oz.)
some red wine vinegar
3 cups water
some lime juice
salt and pepper

Toasted the chili powders first on a cast iron skillet. Put the stuff aside. I made two batches of chili-- one for vegetarians and one for carnivores. In the carnivore batch I sauteed the ground chuck until brown then put it aside. Sauteed the onion, garlic and jalapeños in olive oil until they were soft-- about 8 minutes. Tossed in the toasted chili powders, the canned tomatoes, beans, the vinegar and the water. I also did this on the meat side. After all of this stuff was in the pan, I just let it simmer for about half an hour, seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice I saw fit.

After the liquid reduced enough for me to recognize it as chili, I pulled some of the vegetarian chili out and soaked my hamburger patties in it for about 30 more minutes. And this I proceeded to grill when all was done.

Burgers were topped with even more chili (the con carne went on my burger), some shredded cheddar, sour cream, and most importantly, Frito corn chips. My chili needs work. It was hot, but unrefined. I mean it was delicious, but I feel like I got punched in the mouth. The burgers themselves were great, but the chili recipe needs to be polished some to inject it with the nuances of a good chili. I must consult my Texan contacts. I guess it's a start, but I'll have to revisit this sometime.