State Fair Burgers with Onions Two Ways

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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

Walk through the gate to the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup and the aroma of grilled onions will compel you to start the day with a hamburger. (You might want a Fisher scone with raspberry jam for dessert but that’s another story.) This could be called this “The Northwest Classic.”


1-1/2 tablespoons Colavita olive oil
2 Walla Walla sweet onions, sliced thin, reserving 6 center slices

2 pounds lean (85%), organic ground beef such as Dakota brand
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 slices Vintage White, extra sharp Tillamook cheese
6 sesame hamburger buns
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 leaves iceburg
6 slices beefsteak tomato


1. Pre-heat a gas grill to medium-low. Place olive oil and sliced Walla Walla onions in a saute pan. Cook for 20 minutes or until onions become soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, then increase heat to medium and cook until onions are golden, maybe another 20 or 30 minutes. Cover and set aside to keep warm.
2. For patties, place ground beef, Worcestershire sauce and salt, in a medium bowl, and combine loosely with a fork. Form mixture into six patties the diameter of the rolls, making a slight depression in the middle of the patties to compensate for the tendency to bulge during cooking.
3. Increase grill heat to medium-high. Brush vegetable oil over grill rack. Grill patties with top closed for 4 minutes; turn and grill 4 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160º.
4. During the last 2 minutes of grilling the patties, place rolls cut side down on the grill to toast.
5. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice
6. To assemble burgers, spread bottoms of rolls with mayonnaise; add lettuce leaves; add reserved raw onion slices. Add patties; add caramalized onion and top with tomato slices. Close with bun tops and serve.