Spice up your standard burger with the addition of Guinness.  The beer adds a great deep flavor to the meet and keeps it super juicy.  The contrast of the sweet caramelized onions and the sharp cheddar will make your mouth water.  Serve with oven-baked sweet potato fries and a slaw to round out the meal.  Or make these into mini burgers (“sliders”) and serve them at a sports-theme party.  These burgers are perfect any time of year, but especially apropos for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.




Guinness Cheese Burgers with Caramelized Onions

2 large yellow or white onion, sliced into rings and separated

2 Tbs. unsalted butter1 lb. high quality ground beef (85% to 90% lean)

¼ C. Guinness draught beer

¼ C. chopped yellow or white onion

1 garlic clove

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 (or more) splashes of Tabasco

1 tsp. salt

fresh ground pepper

olive oil

4 oz Irish cheddar cheese cut into thin slices

4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted or grilled  


1.       Heat a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add butter.  When butter is melted and starts to foam, add onion rings to the pan and stir to coat all of the rings with butter.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are a deep caramel color (about 10 minutes).


2.       Combine next 8 ingredients (beef through pepper) in a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until just combined (do not over mix or meat will be tough).  Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.  Shape beef into 4 equal patties, about ¾” thick.  Rub each side of the patties with olive oil.  Sear burgers for about 30 seconds to seal in juices, then reduce heat to medium.  For medium burgers, cook patties for about 3-4 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second side.  Divide cheese evenly four ways and put cheese on top of burgers once you flip them to cook on the second side. 


3.       Remove burgers from the grill, put on a lightly toasted or grilled bun, top with caramelized onions and other desired toppings.  Serve immediately.

Makes 4 burgers


  •  I use organic grass-fed and grass-finished beef, which tends to cook about 30% faster so vary the cooking time accordingly.
  • For juicy burgers, beef with a higher fat content (80-85% lean) is generally used, but since you are adding the beer and onions you can use leaner meat (90% lean) and still have a very juicy burger.
  • To keep juices in the meat, only flip burgers once and do not press down on the burgers while they are cooking.
  •  If the cheese is not melting fast enough you can close the cover or the grill or cover the grill pan with a lid or cookie sheet to speed up the melting process.
  • When selecting the cheese, use a cheddar aged for 1 year or less – you don’t want it to be too sharp for these burgers.