Have you ever eaten something and thought: these flavors were made for each other? This burger is that something.

Growing up in Georgia and going to school in South Carolina, pimento cheese is kind of a big deal. It's like a religion with different denominations. Traditional or orthodox. Orange or white. Hot or cold. I specifically remember going to Pawley's Front Porch in Columbia many a nights and enjoying burgers with my squad, nights I wish I could have back. Fast forward to now and I'm in Atlanta experimenting with burgers during this wonderful grilling season. I figured why not take a stab at something uniquely inspired by my grubbing experiences in the South, and that's how I landed on this burger. 

This burger is like wayyyyyy indulgent, and since I'm still doing that whole "low carb thing" I'm obliged to recommend sticking the burger between two leaves of butter lettuce. You can use Bibb, Butter, or Romaine, the taste will still remain the same - incredible. Just be sure to subtract about 160 of the calories. In the words of Guy Fieri, I'm taking you down to Flavortown. Let's go.

Serves 4. Total time: 45 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound 90%/10% fat ground beef
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns 
  • 4 tsp pimento cheese spread (I used Tonya's Gourmet Creations Bacon Pimento Cheese Spread) if you'd like them extra cheesy, opt for a tablespoon in each.
  • 2 tbsp red pepper jelly (Stonewall Kitchen makes some awesome pepper jelly)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise (Duke's-duh)
  • 1 small off-the-vine tomato, sliced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 leaves butter lettuce

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Coat a saute pan with oil and turn the heat on medium.
  2. Begin to saute the onions in the pan until they turn brown and begin to caramelize. (This can take as long as 30 minutes, low and slow will give you the best onions)
  3. Grease and warm up your cast iron or preferred skillet (you have the option to grill these as well) 
  4. Shape the beef into four 4-ounce flat circles, in the middle carefully place a tablespoon of pimento cheese
  5. Carefully form patties around the pimento cheese, and salt and pepper the patties evenly
  6. Grill the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side on medium high.
  7. Serve and top with pepper jelly, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and mayo.

*Tip: the colder your beef is, the more the fat will sizzle and crisp in the skillet, forming a nice crust. If you don't want the crust, take the beef out of the fridge sooner rather than later.*

 

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