Food & Swine

South of the Border Burger


My ‘south of the border sunset’ after a day of bad weather.

Since the Sutter Home Winery Build a Better Burger competition, I’ve had lots of burger recipe inspiration.  The winning Sour Apple Pork Burger hasn’t left my grilling schedule yet, I’ve been making it for quite a few people.  However, I’m taking a break from that Midwest-true pork burger and venturing out with a recipe that incorporates some flavors from straight south.  My Mom is a lover of ‘south of the border’ flavors.  With guacamole, a sweet corn and pepper relish, chipotle candied bacon and more, I’ve created a burger recipe that incorporates her favorite things, which is perfect because she’s my favorite lady.

What’s your BEEF?  (I know the blog is “Food & SWINE” but I was raised with cattle and we still eat plenty of beef.)


Now we raise pigs in my family of course…


Bringing me to the point.  This is an equal opportunity burger. It totally works as a ‘pork burger’ too.  Just swap the ground chuck or chuck/spare rib/sirloin mix with 80/20 ground pork shoulder.


Feel free to swap some of the homemade ingredients (guacamole) for a quality store purchased brand.  This will save you time if necessary!

South of the Border Burgers

With Chipotle Candied Bacon, Grilled Tangy Sweet Corn and Pepper Relish, Chipotle Spread, Guacamole and Pepper Jack Cheese

Makes 6 Large Burgers


For the Chipotle Spread:
1 Chipotle pepper, minced finely
2 TBSP adobo sauce
1/4 C sour cream
1/2 C mayonnaise
In a small bowl, mix minced pepper, adobo sauce, sour cream and mayonnaise together, set aside in refrigerator, covered, to chill. 

For the Chipotle Candied Bacon:
24 oz package of ultra thick sliced bacon
1/4 C brown sugar
3 TBSP adobo sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBSP tequila
If not precooked product: *Remove bacon from package.  Cut strips in half widthwise.  Fry in a large skillet over medium heat on the cooking surface of a Weber Grill. Drain on paper towels.  Clean skillet and add brown sugar, adobo and tequila. Whisk together and heat mixture for 1 minute until simmering.  Add bacon back to pan and stir to coat.  Cook over heat until glaze sets on bacon. Remove from heat, lay bacon strips on aluminum foil. Set aside.

For the Burger:

1 lb. 80/20 ground chuck
1/2 lb. ground spare ribs
1/2 lb. ground sirloin
*or 2 lbs 80/20 ground chuck
2 TBSP adobo sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire
3 TBSP Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
6 thick slices PepperJack Cheese
Heat grill to high heat 450 degrees. Combine ground chuck, ground spare ribs, ground sirloin, adobo sauce and worcestershire.  Fluff with fork.  Shape patties.  Chill while grill heats.  When ready to grill sprinkle evenly on both sides with gourmet burger seasoning. Place patties on grill for 3-4 minutes, flip, place cheese on grilled side. Finish grilling to medium rare (130-135 degrees F) or medium (140-145) doneness as personal preference dictates, an additional 3-5 minutes.  Use an instant read thermometer such as a “Thermapen” and pull burgers off 5 degrees shy of their desired cooking temperature, as they finish cooking off the heat.

For the Tangy Grilled Sweet Corn and Pepper ‘Relish’:

4 ears of clean shucked quality young, crisp sweet corn
1 red bell pepper
1 orange or yellow bell pepper
2 TBSP melted butter
Juice of ½ a lime
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP light olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1/2 C cilantro leaves, chopped
Check corn for silks and remove.  Brush corn with butter and season with salt and pepper.  Over medium high grill heat, grill corn and pepper until grill marks appear on corn and pepper is charred lightly. Cut kernels from cob, seed and chop pepper finely.  Place corn kernels and chopped pepper in mixing bowl with lime juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and cilantro. Toss to combine.

For the Guacamole:
4 small ripe avocados Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Scoop flesh out of avocado, mash lightly.  Add lime juice, pepper, tomato and salt.  Mash gently until combined yet chunky.
Keep chilled until assembly.

For Buns:
6 King’s Hawaiian “Sandwich Rolls” or other large sized Kaiser Rolls, whatever is available but King’s Hawaiian is preferred. As the final minutes of grilling the burgers close in, toast buns over grill grates until dark golden char marks appear.

Lay toasted bun bottom on plate.  Add 2 TBSP guacamole.  Top with cheese topped patty.  Add 2 slices worth of candied bacon.  Add corn relish.  Spread toasted bun top with chipotle spread, place on top of burger.  Place long wooden skewer through burger to secure.  Serve immediately.  Makes 6 burgers.

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