Ortega Burgers with Ortega Chiles, Bacon, and Chipotle Aoili


So I’ve talked about my Pop before (see Pop’s Chile Rellenos). He not only got me to eat eggs with his delicious rellenos recipe, but he also got me hooked on the OTHER part of that delicious recipe. Ortega chiles can literally always be found in my cupboard. Diced or whole, you can open my pantry and find at least one can of them.

Pop grew up in Farmington, New Mexico, and anyone who has been to the Land of Enchantment (that’s New Mexico’s real nickname, guys!) can tell you just how much green chilies are used in the cuisine. They are pretty much in everything. Who can blame them though?? Their heat level is super manageable and you still get that distinct chile flavor without all the sweat and burning tongue.

So when I started planning a Father’s Day recipe, my mind instantly went back to my Pop and his home state’s favorite ingredient. Thus, the Ortega Burger. You can totally find these on the menu at a few burger joints here in Southern California, but to be honest they always leave me feeling underwhelmed. So in creating this recipe, I wanted to create the perfect Ortega Burger in honor of my Pop.

Now, when you are making a Father’s Day meal, the last thing on your mind should be any of the following words: clean, dainty, healthy and light. Even if Dad is watching his belt line, he deserves to have a meal worthy of a hero. Instead of keeping it light, I want you to focus on these words when making this burger fit for a king: messy, hearty, fatty, and indulgent.

These burgers are L-O-A-D-E-D. This recipe makes four big burgers with 1/2 lb peppercorn crusted beef patties, pepper jack cheese, Ortega chilis, bacon, lettuce and a chipotle aoili all on an toasted onion burger bun. Dad will absolutely thank the Flavor Gods on Father’s Day. And guess what? You get to tell him that YOU made these gourmet puppies. Points, for sure.

Let’s make this Father’s Day all about the one invincible man in your life and big bold flavors that he’ll love. Remind him just how much you love and appreciate all he does for you and your family. Tell him you love him. And we all know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Spend a little time in the kitchen or by the grill and show him just how important he is.

Ortega Burgers
Author: Jessica Lee
Serves: 4 burgers
Ingredients
  • – 2 lbs ground beef
  • – 4 canned ortega chilis
  • – 1/4 cup sour cream
  • – 1/2 cup mayo
  • – 2 chipotle peppers in adodbo
  • – 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • – 8 strips bacon
  • – 4 onion hamburger buns (or regular if you prefer)
  • – 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • – 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • – 2 cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • – 1/4 red onion, cut into strips
  • – salt for seasoning
  • – fresh ground pepper for seasoning
Instructions
  1. Remove ground beef from fridge and let sit on the counter until it reaches room temp (this step is imperative for a moist burger patty). If using pre-frozen patties (it’s better with fresh ground beef, but I understand) do NOT let sit; you should grill those frozen. Remove chilis from can, rinse and pat dry completely. Let sit on paper towel to remove excess liquid.
  2. To make the chipotle aioli, place sour cream, mayo, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, and garlic powder in a blender/food processor/immersion blender and mix until fully combined and the peppers are completely broken up. Taste the sauce and make sure the heat level is manageable for you. If too hot, add more mayo and sour cream 1 Tablespoon at a time. Cover the sauce and place in the fridge to let it set for a little bit. Cook bacon as directed on package. I am a person who loooooves extra crisp bacon, but for this I would suggest not overcooking it.
  3. Warm up the grill/stove top griddle to medium/high heat. I used a flat top griddle for this recipe because I wanted a nice crisp sear on my patties. Take the hamburger buns and butter the insides with the softened butter. Place the buns butter side down onto the griddle and cook until nice and toasted; about 5 minutes. Remove from griddle and let cool for 1 minute. You’ll want to assemble your burger fixings before you start cooking the bugers so they are ready.
  4. Take your toasted buns and spread the chipotle aioli on the top and bottom; less on the bottom and more on the top. Then place shredded lettuce and red onion on the bottom bun.
  5. Form ground beef into 4 patties, remembering to form them to be a bit bigger in diameter than the buns, as they will shrink a little while cooking. Generously salt each side of the patty; this will form the nice crust on the burger. Place the fresh ground pepper on a shallow plate, and press each patty into the pepper. When the griddle is hot hot HOT, place the burgers on the grill and listen for an aggressive sizzle. Do not move the burgers! Let cook for 5 minutes, then flip.
  6. Once the burgers are flipped, let cook for 2 minutes then top with pepper jack cheese. Let the burger cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted. Remove from the grill and place them on the buns. Top with ortega chilis, then bacon, then place the top bun. Serve with roasted potatoes or other favorite BBQ side dishes.

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