Rowdy Cowboy Burgers with Smoked Cheddar, Crispy onions, and Jalapeño Mayo

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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


2 lbs. ground chuck
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces grated smoked cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in adobo)
3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 jalapeño (taken from the can of chipotles in adobo)
1/2 lime, juiced
18 slices thick sliced pepper bacon
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 (1-2 oz slices) smoked cheddar cheese
6 plain bakery style hamburger buns rolls, split
1 (2.8 oz) can French fried onions (such as Durkee brand)
6 leaves of green leaf lettuce, washed and dried



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.

To make the patties: In a large bowl, combine the chuck, heavy cream, kosher salt, cheddar cheese, and adobo paste. Mix very gently to combine, being careful not to over mix the meat. Divide the meat into six equal portions, making a small indention in the middle to prevent the burgers from bulging. Set aside.

To make the jalapeño mayo: In a blender, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, jalapeño, and lime juice. Blend well and set aside.

Preheat a fireproof skillet on the grill to medium-high heat. Place bacon into the pan and sauté about 5-7 minutes, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is cooked until crispy. Drain onto paper towels and set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Grill the patties with the grill top closed for 4 minutes. Turn and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 160 degrees F (for medium), about 4 minutes longer. During the last few minutes of grilling, add a slice of smoked cheddar to the top of each patty to melt. During the last 2 minutes of grilling the patties, place the rolls, cut side down, on the grill to toast.

To assemble the burgers, place the patties on the bottoms of the rolls. Top each burger with a leaf of lettuce, three slices of bacon, and about 1/3 cup of French fried onions. Spread a generous amount of the jalapeño mayo onto the top of each bun and add to the top of the burger.