Grilled Burgers with Roasted Jalapeños & Cherry BBQ Sauce

Enjoyment. It’s there for the taking. It’s in the shining eyes of your friends and family, the comforting fizz of your beer {ahem Deschutes Black Butte Porter ahem}, it’s in the mountains.

This weekend, G and I took a long hike along the Pacific Crest Trail starting at Sonora Pass and traveling into a canyon. We met hikers who had started the PCT in Mexico and were on about their 1200th mile by the time we saw them. Their aim is to continue the full length of the trail all the way up to Canada. Did I just see you give them a long distance high five? Yeah, I was impressed too.  For them, enjoyment means nature. Self preservation. Removal. Cleansing.

It is easy to forget that in the end, everything works out the way it is supposed to. It’s easy to get stressed. I do it on the daily. Life’s little reminders bring us back to reality and tell us it’s time for a long cleansing hike. Or bike ride. Or night at the club, day at the beach, or a big flavorful burger with roasted jalapeños and homemade cherry barbecue sauce. It’s time for enjoyment folks. When you forget about enjoyment, think of the people you meet on the PCT and how enjoyment comes in all forms. It sometimes requires a commitment.  Commit to enjoyment. Enjoyment can never have too many friends.

Ingredients:

For the burger meat

  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 5 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound ground elk, bison, or turkey meat (we used elk)

Toppings

  • 4 jalapenos, roasted and seeded
  • Cherry BBQ Sauce
  • Avocado slices
  • Tomato slices
  • Red leaf lettuce

NOTE: We typically eat our burgers bun-free.  This is a no-judgement zone – your bun-y burgers are allowed too.

Makes 5 grilled burgers

To Make:

Preheat the oven to 375. Place whole jalapeños in a casserole dish or baking sheet and roast about 15 minutes or until skin is flaying away from flesh and flesh is soft.  Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the flesh and discard the skin. Cut jalapeños lengthwise, remove the stem and seeds and coarsely chop. Set aside.

In a medium sized skillet, heat the grapeseed (or olive) oil. Sauté onion on medium high heat until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until the onion and mushroom are dark brown and soft, about 5 to 8 more minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Fire up the grill to medium high heat. In a mixing bowl, add the ground meat, salt, garlic powder, paprika and basil. Once the sautéed onion and mushroom is cool, add it to the mixing bowl as well and mix everything together using your hands.

Form 5 patties out of the meat. Once the grill is hot, place patties on and grill until brown and charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for the elk or bison, 5 minutes for the turkey. Flip and grill an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until meat is brown and has nice grill marks. If using elk or bison, cook to desired “donness.” If using turkey meat, cook all the way through but careful not to over-cook.

Add your jalapeños, Cherry BBQ Sauce and anything else your heart desires. Enjoy.

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