Popper Beef Burgers

1 pound ground round
1/4 cup prepared thick and chunky salsa
4 frozen cream cheese or Cheddar cheese-stuffed jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup prepared salsa con queso
1/4 cup chopped fresh plum tomato
2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives
Prepared thick and chunky salsa

Combine ground beef and 1/4 cup salsa in a large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four thin patties. Place one stuffed pepper in center of each patty; wrap beef around pepper to enclose,sealing seams and forming ball. Flatten balls into patties about 4 to 5 inches across and 1 inch thick.

Place patties on grid over medium,ash covered coals. Grill,covered,15-16 minutes to medium (160 degrees F)doneness, until beef is not pink in center and juices show no pink color,turning occasionally.

Spread 1 tablespoon salsa con queso evenly over top of each burger. Sprinkle evenly with tomato and olives. Serve with salsa, as desired.

Cook’s Tip: Four slices (3/4 ounce each) Mexican-style process cheese slices may be substituted for salsa con queso; place on top of patties 1 minute before patties are done,to allow cheese to melt. Popper burgers may also be served in hamburger buns for a hand held sandwich.
Total preparation and cooking time:30 minutes
Serves: 4

This recipe was a 1999 National Beef Cookoff Recipe reprinted in Arkansas Cattle Business this month.