Thursday, June 12, 2014

16 Burgers of Summer: 50/50 Burger

Good evening everyone! We’re no strangers to the realm of blending meats within one recipe. We’ve found that some of the best meat loaf recipes come from a blend of ground beef, turkey and pork. The science behind the concept is simple, you cover deficiencies in ingredient A with the strength of ingredient B. Ground beef is durable and holds flavor well, but tends to dry out. Add pork to the equation (which maintains its fat “moisture” during cooking) and you’ve got a great blend.

So, when I found tonight’s recipe and saw that not only did it blend two meats in a totally new way but it also qualified as burger #5 for our 16 burgers of summer feature, I knew I had to give it a shot.

The Recipe: 50/50 Burger
Original Recipe From: 5 in 5 – Michael Symon

What You’ll Need:
1 Pound Ground Beef (85/15)
10 Ounces Ground Chorizo (Pork)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Pepperjack or Monterrey Jack Cheese Slices
1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro
1 Egg (beaten)*
1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce / 1 Tablespoon Mayo (mixed well)*

* The premise of chef Symon’s book is 5 ingredient recipes that take about 5 minutes to cook. So far, we’ve had one disastrous dish and one quite good dish from this cookbook, so I was cautious heading into this recipe. That proved wise, as adjustments were needed to make the original dish viable. The concept of “5 simple ingredients” is a nice selling point, but it sometimes leaves recipes….lacking. Case in point, this recipe doesn’t call for an egg, but after taking it to the skillet and seeing the burger collapse where the chorizo and ground beef combined – I clearly can tell it needs one.  What follows is our adaptation of the original recipe. If you’re a purist, be sure to look up the dish in Mr. Symon’s book.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, chorizo and egg until the mixture is evenly combined. Break the mixture into six equally sized balls then work each ball into a rough patty. Oddly enough, the original recipe calls for ¾ pound ground beef. I just don’t see the practicality in dividing a pound of ground beef (which is the quantity you’re most likely to have on hand) that way, so I opted to use the entire pound, and just make two extra patties out of the mixture.

Season each patty lightly with salt and pepper and place a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. While your skillet is heating up, pop the patties into the refrigerator and let them hang out for about 10 minutes. This step wasn’t suggested in the recipe, but hands on experience proved that a little time in the chill chest to tighten up is a good idea.
Add the olive oil and bring it to a shimmer before add the patties. Press them with a spatula to think them out slightly, and then allow the patties to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes before flipping. (If you used the egg and refrigerator, you’ll likely have an uneventful flip. If you followed the original recipe – be careful here, the mixture can come loose, causing a sloppy burger).
After cooking the burgers for 2 minutes on the other side, top each patty with cheese and cover the skillet. Allow the burgers to cook (and the cheese to melt) for an additional minute. Once cooked through, spread the chipotle mayo mixture on the bottom of a fresh hamburger bun. Top the burgers with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

The Results:

The burgers pack a nice bit of spice with the chorizo / beef blend, but the chipotle mayo and pepperjack cheese really brought out the best flavors of the dish. The cilantro acts as the perfect foil – providing a bit of freshness (like lettuce) while also neutralizing the most extreme heat from the chorizo.
All in all, this is a tasty burger dish. I think it’s a bit lacking as is from the cookbook – but a few light tweaks quickly make this dish an easy recipe for any burger lover to enjoy!

That’s all we have for you this evening, Maggie will take to the kitchen tomorrow night with a brand new recipe. Until then,


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