Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion; cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup and 1/3 cup water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper); simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor; puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl; cool to room temperature. Brush some sauce onto the patties as they cook; spoon more on top when you assemble the burger.
Makes: 1 cup
Shape 6 ounces of 80 percent lean ground beef chuck into a uniform patty, no more than 3/4 inch thick (don't overwork the meat). Make a depression in the center with your thumb so the burger won't bulge; the indent will rise as the patty cooks. Preheat a grill or cast-iron grill pan to high. Brush the burger with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred, turning once (7 minutes for medium-rare). Avoid pressing with a spatula! Add cheese for the last minute of cooking.
Bobby coats the patty with a rub before grilling: Mix 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder, 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika, 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, ground coriander, dry mustard, ground cumin and kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon ground chile de arbol. (He also sells rubs at bobbyflay.com.)
For the chef's easy slaw, whisk 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 grated white onion, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons celery seeds, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper. Mix with 1 small shredded head cabbage and 1 shredded carrot. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Bobby's Texan wife, Stephanie, loves brisket with pickles and slaw, so he morphed the combo into this tasty burger.
Photograph by Steve Giralt
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine