Serves a Crowd

San Ignacio Green Chile Cheeseburger

July 27, 2011
Author Notes

The green chile cheeseburger is the official dish of the State of New Mexico. Every settlement, town and city has their special take on what is primarily ground beef and green chiles. (PS: "Chile" grows a plant, while "Chili" is a stew made from meat and chiles.) This one has become the officially sanctioned green chile cheeseburger in the bustling megalopolis of San Ignacio. —WileyP

  • Serves 4-8
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (home made is best!)
  • 2 chipotle chiles (canned, in adobo)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo (from the can with the chipotles is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons lard (or, if you must, canola or vegetable oil)
  • 2 New Mexico "Big Jim" or New Mexico #6 green chiles, roasted, peeled and diced (or 1 4-ounce can of diced green chiles)
  • 2 jalapeños, minced (if you wish, remove the seeds and veins to minimize the spicy heat)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef (2/3 chuck, 1/3 sirloin is a good blend)
  • 4 ciabatta sandwich rolls, about 3-1/2" square
  • 8 slices American cheese
In This Recipe
  1. In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, chipotles, and adobo until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. (This will make more than you'll need, so use the rest with artichokes or to dip tortilla chips, etc.)
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the lard until it is shimmering. Add the green chiles and jalapeños and stir/toss for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and the cooled chile-garlic mixture. Set aside.
  4. Divide the ground beef into 8 1/4-pound chunks. Press each chunk into a 4" square patty, depressing the centers slightly more than the outer 1/4" or so of the edges.
  5. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on each of 4 of the patties, spreading it into a smooth layer in the indented portion of the patties. Place an unfilled patty upside down (indented side down) on each of the filled patties. Secure the edges by pinching all around the outer edges, then press the edges square again.
  6. Slightly toast the ciabatta rolls over the grill (or in the oven if you desire).
  7. Grill the burgers over moderately hot coals for 2 to 3 minutes on one side. Flip the burgers and cook 1 minute. Add 2 slices of cheese to each burger, close the cover and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  8. Slather a little of the chipotle-mayonnaise mixture on both the top and bottom of each roll. Place a burger on each one. If these burgers seem too much for the person eating it, they can be cut in half before serving, but let them cool a little first. Otherwise all that great filling will run out!

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