Smokey Sweet Heat Burger with Roasted Garlic Smash

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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

—I am resubmitting with just a change on the # of buns — Satisfying taste buds that like to have it both ways, my Smokey Sweet Heat Burger with Roasted Garlic Smash intermingles a smoky sweetness with just the right amount of “heat”. With Texas as my home state, I consider it practically mandatory to love peppers and garlic and I have incorporated the smoky heat of Chipotles to play off the brown sugar and molasses undertones of the burger. Another hometown plus – Texas Longhorn beef is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than most other cattle.


For garlic smash:
3 large heads of garlic
Olive oil for brushing

For burger glaze:
1/4 cup black strap molasses
2 Chipotle chilies in adobe sauce (from can – reserve remaining sauce)
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper to season

For patties:
2 pounds fresh ground chuck, preferably Texas Longhorn
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon Tabasco
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ cup grated sweet onion, like 1015
Salt and pepper
Canola oil for brushing the grill rack

6 whole grain burger buns, split
Olive oil for brushing
½ cup prepared mayonnaise
1 teaspoon adobe sauce taken from the reserve can of chipotles chili
Green leaf lettuce


Preheat gas grill to high heat:

Peel away the outer layers of skin on the garlic heads, leaving skins of individual cloves intact and garlic bulb whole. Using a sharp knife, slice 1/2-inch off of the pointed end of the garlic bulbs to expose individual cloves of garlic. Rub or brush garlic heads with oil and wrap each in heavy foil.

Place foil packets on grill rack and roast for approximately 45 minutes, flipping several times. Garlic is roasted when it yields to the touch and outer skins are browned. Unwrap and separate cloves. Squeeze each clove into a small bowl mash all together with the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside for use later.

To prepare glaze, add molasses, chipotle chile with a little of the adobe sauce, Dijon mustard, canola oil in a blender. Pulse blender for approximately 15 – 30 seconds or until glaze has a smooth consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper; pulse a few more seconds to combine. Set glaze aside for use later.

In large bowl, add chuck, chipotle powder, Tabasco, brown sugar and grated onion. Mix together with clean hands or a large spoon and shape into 4 equal-sized patties. Season tops and bottoms of each patty with salt and pepper. If needed, refrigerate patties for 15 -20 minutes to firm them back up.

Preheat gas grill to high, brush rack with canola oil. Grill patties for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium doneness. For last ½ of cooking generously brush patties with glaze on front and back. Transfer to platter.

Reduce grill heat to medium-low. Brush bun insides with olive oil and toast, face down, on grill for several minutes or until lightly toasted. In small bowl, stir 1 teaspoon of reserved adobe sauce (from can of chipotle peppers) into prepared mayonnaise. To assemble, spread a generous amount of chili mayo on bottom bun; add lettuce and then patty topped with a generous portion of garlic smash. Add top bun and serve.