New–Fashioned American Drive–In Cheeseburgers

Accolades 2004 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers
Pairs well with:

Pinot Noir

Every pour of our Pinot Noir brings you a delicious blend of berry flavors and the romantic aroma of violet.


Special Sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 gherkin pickles, finely diced
1 bunch scallions (green onions), chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


3 pounds freshly ground Angus beef chuck
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Olive oil
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 1/4-inch-thick sharp Cheddar cheese slices
6 Kaiser rolls, split
3 tablespoons softened butter
6 Boston lettuce leaves
1 large ripe Beefsteak tomato, sliced



To prepare the Special Sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and keep chilled until serving time.

In a grill, prepare a hot fire for direct-heat cooking.

For the burgers, in a large bowl, combine beef with salt, handling meat as gently as possible. Form 6 four-inch diameter patties. Sprinkle both sides of patties with pepper.

Brush both sides of onion slices with olive oil. Place slices on the hot grill. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until softened and golden brown all over. Remove to a platter.

Rub grill rack with oil. Place burger patties on grill. Cook 4 minutes; flip patties with a spatula. Cook 4 more minutes for medium-rare, or to desired doneness. During the last few minutes of cooking, place a slice of cheese over each patty. Cover the grill and cook until cheese melts. Remove to a platter.

Place rolls on the grill until toasted lightly. Spread each half with some butter.

To assemble each burger, place a lettuce leaf on each roll bottom, followed by a tomato slice, a patty, a large pinch of onions, a generous tablespoon of sauce, and roll top. Take a big bite and enjoy!