Zesty Cincinnati Chili Burgers

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.


1 large Vidalia onion, finely diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf
3 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 pounds ground chuck
6 1 ounce slices aged cheddar cheese (not too sharp)
vegetable oil for the grill grate
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 cornmeal crusted hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls, split horizontally



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

To make the onion relish: In a small bowl combine the onion, vinegar, water, sugar, oregano and bay leaf. Stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside.

To make the patties: In a large bowl combine the cumin, cinnamon, cocoa, chili powder, fresh garlic, clove, allspice, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Stir until completely combined. Add the chuck and mix gently so that the meat does not get compacted, but spice mixture is evenly distributed. Divide into 6 equal portions and gently shape into patties the size of the buns. Refrigerate until grilling.

To grill the patties: Brush the grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack, cover and grill approximately 4 minutes, until bottoms are browned and release from the grate. Turn the patties gently and grill covered for another 3 minutes. Add a slice of cheese to each patty and grill covered about 30 seconds, until cheese melts. Remove patties from grill once they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Let rest tented with foil about 3-5 minutes. While patties are resting, place the buns cut side down on the grill and toast for about 2-3 minutes, until golden. Remove.

To assemble the burgers: Spread each cut side of the bun generously with sour cream. On the bottom bun, place the patty, cheese side up. Add equal portions of the onion relish to each patty and top with the top bun. Makes 6 Burgers