Back to Basics Burger

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.


2 pounds ground chuck
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cayenne
2 teaspoons salt
9 fresh basil leaves, chopped
8 tablespoons  Buttermilk Ranch Pieces, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 (1/4-inch-thick) sweet yellow onion slices
12 slices American cheese
6 Kaiser rolls, split 1 cup mayonnaise
6 iceberg lettuce leaves cut to fit roll
6 (1/4-inch-thick) large tomato slices



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, 1/3 cup brown sugar, cayenne, salt, basil leaves, and Snyder Buttermilk Ranch Pieces. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. While the patties are cooking, place the onions on the grill rack and cook until golden brown and crisp-tender, 2 or 3 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with 2 cheese slices. While meat is resting, brush cut side of the rolls lightly with vegetable oil and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, then lightly press sugar into rolls. Place rolls cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of mayonnaise over the cut sides of the toasted rolls. On each roll bottom, place in this order: lettuce leaf, onion slice, patty, and tomato slice. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers