Backyard BBQ

Cheesy Smash Burgers With Bacon & Poblano Salsa

April 27, 2021
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Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes 4 burgers
Author Notes

Smash burgers are all the rage right now. Their appeal lies in the crispy, browned, uneven edges of the burger patty. They also cook super-quickly, which is always a plus when you’re grilling for the whole family.

These burgers are made even more special by the tangy pickled onions and poblano salsa that are draped and slathered over top. Roasting the poblanos and tomatillos may seem a little fussy, but the smoky, complex resulting flavor is a reward that’s well worth the effort. The 100% Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bun from Arnold®, Brownberry®, and Oroweat® are soft, yet hearty enough to hold it all together. —Samantha Seneviratne

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Arnold®, Brownberry®, and Oroweat®. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the onions and poblano salsa:
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the salsa
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 2 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon leftover pickling liquid from the onions
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the burgers:
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (10 to 20% fat)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for the skillet
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • Lettuce
  • 4 Arnold®, Brownberry®, or Oroweat® 100% Whole-Wheat Sandwich Buns
  1. Make the pickled onions: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the onions. Set aside.
  2. Make the poblano salsa: Set the poblano pepper directly on the grates of the stove over a medium-high flame. Cook until charred on all sides, about 8 minutes. If your tomatillos can sit on the grates, cook them in the same manner for about 4 minutes. If they are too small, you can hold them with tongs directly over the fire until charred and slightly softened.
  3. Transfer the poblano pepper and tomatillos to a cutting board and let cool. Use a paper towel to rub along the poblano and remove all the charred skin. Discard the seeds and chop finely. Chop the tomatillos finely. Combine the poblano, tomatillos, cilantro, oil, pickling liquid from the onions, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Form the beef into 8 loose patties. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high until hot. Add a small amount of oil to the pan. Cook 4 of the burgers, pressing down with a spatula to create a thin burger with jagged edges, until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the burgers, press down again with the spatula, cover with a slice of cheese and cook until medium-rare, another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining burgers and cheese.
  5. Transfer two burgers to each bun and layer with onions (leave the liquid behind), salsa, bacon, and lettuce, and serve.

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