Uncle D’s Chili and Cheddar Burger

My great-uncle Denny was the type of guy who was full of shtick. You can’t find any more people like him around. He was that old-school funnyman, the comedian and prankster in the family; he and my grandfather were best friends. In 1944, my grandfather was 18 years old and he was working as a soda jerk in his father’s restaurant, Paul’s Sandwich Shop, in Montreal, Canada. So here’s to you, Uncle D—thanks for all the laughs!–Spike Mendelsohn

LC Extra Stash of Napkins Note

This unforgettably compelling chili burger is what it is—true guy food, no apologies. That said, if manners are at all a concern for you, you may wish to wrap half the burger in wax paper. More than just pretense, it actually minimizes the messiness. But then, perhaps that’s not even a concern…

Chili and Cheddar Burger Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 6


  • 30 ounces ground sirloin
  • 6 potato buns, halved
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe Uncle D’s Chili
  • 1 recipe Cheddar Cheese Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced scallions


  • 1. To make the patties, divide the sirloin into six 5-ounce sirloin balls and form each ball into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover, and refrigerate.
  • 2. Toast the buns and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough oil to cover the entire bottom of the skillet. When the oil begins to smoke, reduce the heat to medium and place half of the patties in the skillet. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Flip, and cook on the other side for 3 minutes more for medium-rare doneness. Do it again with the remaining patties.
  • 3. To assemble the burgers, place 1 patty on 1 toasted bun bottom. Top the patty with some chili and cheese sauce, 1/4 cup of the sour cream, and 1/4 cup of the scallions. Cover with the top of the bun. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Wrap half the burger in wax paper. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.
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