Ale House Burgers with Onion Compote

From Sandra Lee

Watching Food Network all weekend long may or may not be the worst thing to do when one is holed in the bedroom with a 101 temperature. After 2 days of oatmeal, green tea and orange juice while watching The Next Iron Chef, 30 Minute Meals, Paula Deen, Grill It! with Bobby Flay and Sandra’s Money Saving Meals I nearly began to drool out of my eyeballs by Sunday morning. The only other distraction I had over the weekend was my DVD of Lady and the Tramp which made me even hungrier (spaghetti and meatballs anyone?), and locked that freakin’ Siamese cat song into my brain and has still refused to let it out (“Where we finding baby there are milk nearby!”).

So when I was finally feeling better, I ran through some of the recipes I had seen prepared over the weekend, and went with the one that would be the least amount of effort, for fear of a fever spike if I spent too much time up and at ’em. The recipe for Ale House burgers and Onion Compote won hands down – fun, easy, delicious, and best of all… plenty of leftovers.

For the onion compote:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups beer
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 red onions, sliced ( I had three white onions on hand – I’m guessing they can be substituted but I went to the store and got the red as indicated)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the burgers:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 4 hamburger  buns, toasted

For the compote, slice up your two red onions.


Pour the rest of your compote ingredients into a pan, add the onions and bring to a boil.

Once it reaches a boil, reduce your heat and let simmer for about an hour, until it reduces to about 2 cups.  Stir regularly.

Once the liquid has been soaked up completely by the onions, pull from the heat and pour into another bowl to cool. Now it’s time to take on the burgers.

Two pounds should give you four to five patties. Mix it with your beer and seasonings and separate into patties. I used a block of cheese and grated about 1/2 cup – can’t go wrong with more.

Flatten out your patties and place some of the shredded cheese into the center. Then ball up the patties so the cheese is surrounded. Then pound them out into patties again.

Ten to twelve minutes in he NuWave oven on high power, or grill them up for five or six minutes on each side.

Deceptively tame looking, aren’t they? There is SO MUCH CHEESE inside waiting to burst out like an overly-anxious soccer mom at her kid’s first surprise party!

Toasted bun, single leaf of green Romaine lettuce and top the burger off with two or three spoonfuls of the cooled onion compote. No additional condiments or dressings needed, believe me! Takes about an hour in full to make, but most of that is just keeping an eye on the compote. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Ale House Burgers with Onion Compote

  • October 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm
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    OMG I should not have read this while hungry. I am drooling in my cubicle..

  • August 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm
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    I made these burgers the other day. My boyfriend and I loved them! Even though the onion compote took an hour to make, it was pretty easy and totally worth it. I didn’t really need any condiments, but we did use a very little amount of brown mustard and spicy hummus. Thanks Gary!

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