The Schlow Burger with Cheddar, Crispy Onions, and Horseradish Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I really never thought I would be writing down this recipe, but everyone with an opinion and a say-so said, “You gotta put it in the book.” So here goes — try this burger once and see if it doesn’t make you change the way you order your burgers. Someday, maybe I’ll open a burger joint and feature this colossal, monster of a sandwich on the menu, but for now I’ll stick to making it in my own backyard.

NotesThe sauce can be made up to three days ahead; the onions can be prepared early on the day they will be served.

Makes2 “fat boy” burgers

Cooking Methodgrilling


Total Timeunder 1 hour

Occasiongame day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free


Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecheesy, meaty, savory, tangy

Type of Dishhamburger, sandwich


  • 18 ounces ground beef (Ask the butcher for 80 percent lean. Do not change this part, please!)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 thick slices good quality Vermont or English cheddar cheese
  • 2 hamburger buns, split in half (buy the best ones you can get; I like brioche buns)
  • Crispy Onions (recipe follows)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into very thin rings, 1/3- to 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 cups canola oil


  1. Combine the ground beef with the olive oil, salt, and plenty of black pepper.

  2. Divide the meat into two 9-ounce patties and refrigerate until the grill is ready. (Don’t do this more than an hour in advance.)

  3. Combine mayonnaise, horseradish, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl and season with black pepper. (You can do this ahead of time and store it in the fridge.)

  4. Heat the grill to high.

  5. Take the hamburgers out of the refrigerator 5 to 7 minutes before you are ready to grill them.

  6. Place the burgers on the preheated grill and cook 1½ minutes (for rare).

  7. Give the burgers a quarter-turn to “mark” them, and cook 1½ more minutes.

  8. Flip the burgers over and cook 1½ minutes.

  9. Rotate a quarter-turn to “mark” and cook 1½ more minutes.

  10. Transfer the burgers to the grill’s top shelf or to a cooler section of the grill and cover each one with a slice of cheese.

  11. Turn the grill off and shut the lid.

  12. After 4 minutes, open the lid. The cheese will be melted and the burgers cooked rare to medium rare. Toast the buns, if desired, and place a burger on each.

  13. Spread plenty of the horseradish sauce on each burger; it should drip down the sides.

  14. Top with Crispy Onions and season with freshly ground black pepper.

  15. Slather more sauce on the other half of the bun and place it on top of the burger.

  16. Grab a cold beer or iced tea and get ready to make a mess. This is not a dainty meal.

  17. For the Crispy Onions:

  18. Place onion rings and oil in a small sauce pot. (Don’t worry if the rings break apart; it won’t ruin the final product.)

  19. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to a very low simmer. The heat releases the onion’s natural sugars, and in essence, causes them to melt.

  20. Turn the onions with a fork every thirty seconds or so, and cook until they turn golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Adjust the heat if needed to maintain a low simmer.

  21. Remove the onions from the oil and arrange in a single layer on paper towels. (At this point the onions won’t yet be crispy, but I promise you that after a few minutes, as the caramelized sugars cool and harden, the onions will become deliciously crisp.)

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I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

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This is the definitive burger, in my opinion. I never change a thing about the recipe and it's absolutely mouth watering.


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