• Yield: 4 servings, doubles easily

  • Time: 10 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking, 25 minutes total

Lynne's burger-obsessed friend Les Meltzer has waxed on forever about his pinnacle burger experience from years ago in Minot, North Dakota. There, a certain bar would practically burn their burgers on the grill to get them extra crusty and brown, then drop them into a vat of simmering BBQ sauce to finish.


It's divine inspiration in these times of required well-done patties that end up as dry as dirt.


Wine: Try a big California Zinfandel, slightly chilled to tamp down the alcohol and freshen the wine.



  • 1 pound ground chuck, 85% lean, organic and grass-fed if possible

  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile, minced

  • 1/2 medium onion, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • BBQ Sauce

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 hamburger buns

  • Condiments of choice



1. With a light hand, blend the chuck with the chile, onion, salt, and pepper. Gently pat the meat into 4 equal patties about 1-1/4 inches thick, and set aside.


2. Put the BBQ sauce in a deep 6-quart pot and bring to a gentle simmer.


3. Coat a large skillet with a thin film of oil, and set it over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the burgers and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until they are a deep, crusty brown. Remove the burgers from the skillet and slip them into the simmering BBQ sauce. Simmer at a slow bubble for 6 to 7 minutes for medium (140°F. to 145°F. on an instant-read thermometer) and 8 to 9 minutes for medium to medium-well.


4. Remove the meat from the BBQ sauce and assemble the burgers on the buns. Garnish with condiments as you please.

From The Splendid Table's® How to Eat Weekends: New Recipes, Stories & Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2011). Copyright© 2011 by American Public Media. Photographs copyright© 2011 by Ellen Silverman.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.
Sally Swift
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.