To spiff up a big, juicy burger, try making this sweet, spicy ketchup, which gets its smoky flavor from dried pasilla chiles.
Slideshow:Incredible Burger Recipes
4 dried pasilla or ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 plum tomatoes, halved
4 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 jalapeño, halved and seeded
1/2 small onion
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 medium eggplant, cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
4 brioche hamburger buns, split and toasted
Butter lettuce, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium skillet, toast the chiles over moderately high heat, pressing with a spatula and turning once, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the chiles to a heatproof bowl and cover with very hot water. Let stand for 30 minutes, until the chiles are completely rehydrated.
Meanwhile, on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the plum tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño and onion with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are just soft; let cool slightly. Peel the garlic.
Drain the pasilla chiles and transfer to a blender. Add the plum tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño, onion, vinegar and molasses and puree. Season the ketchup with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate until chilled.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the eggplant and beefsteak tomato slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred. Transfer to a plate.
Form the ground beef into 4 burgers, 1/2 inch thick; brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until the burgers are lightly charred and medium-rare, 7 minutes.
Spread the ketchup on the buns. Top with the lettuce, burgers, grilled eggplant and tomato and serve, passing any additional ketchup at the table.
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