Andouille/Beef Burgers, Spicy Mayo & Caramelized Onions

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Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 25 mins
Cook 40 mins

Prolific cookbook author James McNair has been chief judge of Sutter Home Winery's burger cook-off since it began in Napa in 1990. One of his books, Build a Better Burger, includes every winning recipe. Some past winners - and McNair's Louisiana roots - inspired the burger here. Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2006. Recipe by Paul Gayler.

Ingredients Nutrition


  • 34 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning or 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 14 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (we used Pickapeppa sauce)

  • 12 lb andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 34 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 12 lbs ground chuck (20 percent fat) or 1 12 lbs ground beef (20 percent fat)

  • 1 12 lbs onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing grill rack
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar (has to be sugar, not a sugar substitute)

  • 6 large hamburger buns, split
  • 8 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 12 pickled okra pods, halved lengthwise (bottled kind)
  • 3 cups watercress, tops
  • hot pepper sauce, for serving (we used Pickapeppa Sauce) (optional)


  2. Mix all ingredients in small bowl: cover and chill.
  3. *Can be made 2 days ahead; keep chilled.
  5. Toss first 4 ingredients in large bowl.
  6. Add beef; blend gently.
  7. Shape mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties.
  8. Transfer patties to small baking sheet.
  9. **Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.
  10. FOR ONIONS:.
  11. Prepare barbecue(medium-high heat).
  12. Toss onions and next 3 ingredients in large skillet.
  13. Place skillet on grill; cook until onions are golden, stirring often, about 25 minutes.
  14. Remove from grill; season with salt and pepper.
  15. ASSEMBLY:.
  16. Brush grill rack with olive oil; grill buns, cut side down, until golden, about 2 minutes.
  17. Transfer buns to work surface.
  18. Grill burgers until brown on bottom, about 3 minutes.
  19. Turn over; sprinkle with cheese.
  20. Grill until burgers are cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium.
  21. Place some onions, then burger, on each bun bottom.
  22. Top each with okra and watercress.
  23. Spread mayonnaise on cut side of bun tops; place on burgers.
  24. Serve with remaining mayonnaise.
  25. Enjoy with an ice cold beer!