Onion-Smothered Cheeseburgers

Be the hero of your next cookout when you make these sweet, savory and completely delicious burgers -- they are a true indulgence. You'll have extra caramelized onions from his recipe; stir them into sour cream for a quick and tasty onion dip. This recipe makes 4 meal-sized burgers or 8 sliders.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes

For the caramelized onions:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 large red, yellow or sweet onions
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the burger patties:
1 pound ground beef, at least 15% fat
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Remaining ingredients:
4 good-quality hamburger buns, split or 8 slider-sized rolls
4 slices cheddar cheese (Swiss or jack also works well in this recipe)
8-10 Bibb lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or creamed horseradish

Make the meat mixture: In a large bowl, combine all burger patty ingredients and mix gently with your (clean) hands to combine. Do not over mix or the meat will become mushy when cooked. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator while you make the onions.

Make the balsamic caramelized onions: Heat butter and oil to medium in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onions and toss to combine. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, add vinegar and sugar and cook for another 10 minutes, until the sugar caramelizes and the vinegar reduces. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make the burger patties: Heat your grill to high. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions, forming the patties loosely with your (clean) hands. Cook for 2 minutes and flip. Cook for two more minutes and reduce heat to medium (or move patties to a cooler spot on a charcoal grill). Grill 2-3 more minutes for medium-rare burgers, 3-4 minutes for medium and 5-7 for well-done. The last minute of cooking, add the cheese to the top of the burger patties to melt.

The last minute of cooking the burger patties, put the bun tops and bottoms, split side down on the grill to toast them up for about a minute.

To assemble the burgers, spread some mayonnaise or horseradish on the bottom of each bun and top with a burger patty. Top with lettuce and a big scoop of caramelized onions. Serve immediately.