Mom’s Cheeseburger with special sauce

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

Wanted a burger that was still tasty when grilled to medium well.So often, the patty turns into a hockey puck. Using bread, milk (as my mom always did) and the surprise ingredient: baking powder, the burgers turn out a bit more tender. The sauce was inspired by various restaurants and my love of sweet/hot pickles.


1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sweet/hot pickle relish (such as Wickle’s Pickles)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt

2 slices white bread – crusts removed and torn into 1/4 inch pieces (one cup)
8 tablespoons half & half
4 teaspoons worstershire sauce
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 pounds ground chuck

1 cup chopped onion – medium dice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup butter
6 sesame seed burger buns
1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 slices American cheese


Three hours before serving burgers, mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

In large bowl, soak bread in half & half and worstershire sauce for 15 minutes then stir with fork until smooth. Stir in salt, pepper and baking powder.

Break beef into small pieces over bread mixture. Lightly mix together until well blended. Do not over-handle. Divide meat into 6 equal portions. Shape into large patties (4 1/2 – 5 inches in diameter). Using a teaspoon, make a depression in the middle of each patty. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.

Heat grill to medium hot; a light layer of white ash covering the coals.

Put medium flameproof pan on grill. Melt butter. Add onions and sugar and cook, stirring frequently 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.

Grill burgers, with cover, over hot coals 4 minutes. Flip and cook 4 – 5 more minutes, or until instant read thermometer reads 155 degrees. Remove burgers to a large platter and cover with paper towels while preparing buns.

While burgers are resting, toast cut sides of buns over hot coals. Remove bottoms when toasted. On toasted side of top bun, place one slice of cheese. Cover grill and allow cheese to melt slightly.

On bottom bun, layer (in order) 2 tablespoons special sauce, 1 tablespoon grilled onion, burger and 1/4 cup shredded lettuce. Top with other half of bun. Repeat with remaining burgers. Serve.