Spicy Cajun Burger
1/2 pound Andouille sausage links
1 1/2 pounds 85 percent lean ground round
2 teaspoons minced garlic (ready-to-use in a jar is a time saver)
1 large shallot finely chopped
1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce
2 teaspoons Emerilâ€™s Original Essence
1 teaspoon Zatarainâ€™s Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Colgin Hickory Liquid Smoke
1 tablespoon Lea and Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce
3 or 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for oiling grill grates
6 large gourmet sandwich buns
3/4 cup mayonnaise
6 romaine lettuce leaves
6 slices pepper jack cheese
6 large tomato slices
1 (2.8 oz) can Frenchâ€™s Original French Fried Onions
Preparing the Patties:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, cut sausage links in half. Finely chop, about 30 seconds. In a large bowl, combine chopped sausage, ground round, garlic, shallot, adobo sauce, essence, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well but lightly. Try not to handle the mixture too much. Over mixing can change the texture of the meat. Divide the mixture into 6 equal parts. Flatten each piece into desired thickness, rounding off the edges of the burgers. Make a 1/2 inch depression in center of each burger. This will help maintain the uniform flatness of the burgers during the cooking process.
Grilling the Burgers:
Oil the grill grates using several folded paper towels. Temperature for charcoal grill should be medium-hot. (You should not be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grate for more than 3 seconds when ready.) Temperature for gas grill should be medium-high.
When grill is ready, place burgers on grill. After 3 minutes, check burgers. If burgers slide easily on grates, flip and cook the other side. Continue cooking the burgers until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees on an instant-read food thermometer. Flip the burgers at least one more time on each side during this time.
Assembling the Burgers:
Spread the top and bottom of each bun with mayonnaise.
On the bottom of each bun add a lettuce leaf, a slice of cheese, burger, a slice of tomato and French fried onions. Add bun tops and serve.