Manchego-Tri Tip Burgers with Ancho-Agave Bacon, Chayote Slaw and Fire-Roasted Green Chile Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons agave nectar
3 tablespoons ground ancho chile pepper
12 strips thick-cut (1/8″) natural hickory-smoked bacon
Fire-Roasted Green Chile Mayonnaise:
2/3 cup quality mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s)
1 fresh poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 – 4 ounce can fire-roasted diced green chiles, drained
3 tablespoons mashed roasted fresh garlic
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I prefer Lea & Perrins)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper (I prefer McCormick brand)
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/2 pounds freshly ground tri-tip beef (80/20 to 85/15) (ask your butcher to double grind this for you)
1/2 cup diced fresh red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (I prefer Colavita)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 peeled, halved, cored and julienned fresh chayote
1/2 of a cored and julienned fresh Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup diced mango (can use fresh or canned)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 – 1 ounce portions of sliced Manchego cheese
6 Kaiser rolls, split (with a slightly chewy crust and a tender interior)
• Prepare a medium indirect heat fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to indirect medium heat. (Internal grill temperature should be between 350° and 375ºF. )
• To prepare the bacon, in a small bowl, mix together agave nectar and chile pepper. When the grill is ready, lay bacon strips side-by-side on a sheet pan lined with foil and place pan on grill rack. Close cover and cook bacon for 22 to 25 minutes, rotating pan and draining as necessary, until bacon is almost crisp. Using a small spoon, evenly drizzle slices with the agave mixture and cook, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until bacon is crisp and the sauce is caramelized. Cool slightly and drizzle bacon with accumulated sauce on the pan. (Sauce will firm as bacon cools further.) Cut slices in half crosswise and set aside.
• Meanwhile, to make the mayonnaise, in a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, poblano pepper, green chiles and roasted garlic, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
• To make the patties, in a small bowl, mix together Worcestershire sauce, mustard, pepper and salt. Spread the tri-tip out in a large shallow pan and, using a fork, evenly mix sauce mixture and onion into meat. Shape the mixture into 6 equal patties to fit the rolls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill.
• To make the chayote slaw, in a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil and mustard. Add chayote, apple, mango and cilantro and mix together evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
• Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
• To cook the patties, when the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover and cook, turning once, until cooked to preference, 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, add 4 bacon slice halves to each burger and place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
• To assemble the burgers, spread the cut sides of each roll evenly with mayonnaise. On each roll bottom place a bacon-topped patty followed by an equal portion of slaw. Add the roll tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.