Smoky Jalapeño Cheeseburgers with Candied Bacon and Homemade Ranch Sauce

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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


2 lb ground chuck
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 scallions, chopped finely
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 slices thick cut (preferably applewood smoked) bacon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 (1-2 ounce) slices smoked cheddar Cheese
6 soft Kaiser buns, unseeded, split
6 leaves butter lettuce
6 thin slices red ripe tomato



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, Worcestershire sauce, cream, scallion, jalapeño, garlic, and salt. Mix gently to avoid over mixing 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 Ranch Dressing: In a small bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, scallions, and cayenne. Set aside.

To make the Candied Bacon: Rub bacon pieces evenly with brown sugar. In a fireproof skillet over medium heat, gently sauté bacon until it is crisp and the sugar is melted. 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 final minutes of cooking, top each burger with a slice of cheese, and allow it 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: Add the patties to the bottoms of the rolls. Top each with two slices of bacon, a leaf of lettuce, and a slice of tomato. Generously slather ranch sauce on each roll top (1-3 Tablespoons) and place them on top of the burgers.