Hello again everyone! We’re back, recharged and refreshed after a two week hiatus. It’s only fitting that we jump right back into cooking by picking up our 16 burgers of summer feature right where we left off. Tonight’s dish is based on one of my all time favorite sandwiches, the Cuban. Available in countless interations and variations, the Cuban is traditionally composed of pulled or roasted pork, ham, mustard, pickles and Swiss cheese before being cooked in a press until the bread is golden and delicious. While hunting for burger ideas, I stumbled across Bobby Flay’s “Miami Burger” which took the Cuban sandwich and turned it into a burger. Obviously, we had to give the recipe a try ourselves.
(As an aside: This should be implied by now but what follows is our adaptation on the original dish. The original recipe can be found at the source below. We like to add this reminder every now and again…just in case you forgot)
The Recipe: Miami Burger
Original Recipe Found On: Foodnetwork.com
What You’ll Need:
1 Pound 80/20 Ground Beef
½ Cup Low Fat Mayonnaise
8 Slices (Thin) Deli Style Ham
4 Fresh Hamburger Buns
4 Slices Provolone Cheese
Begin by breaking the beef into four patties and seasoning each patty lightly with salt and pepper. We’re going a bit off the usual plan with this recipe. Rather than making a burger mix or using our standard “base” burger recipe, we’re simply using standard ground beef. The surrounding toppings and ingredients will do more than enough to enhance the flavors of this dish and adding anything more to the ground beef would simply make the final result a bit over complicated.
Place a large (12 inch) non stick skillet over medium high heat and bring it up to temperature. Once the skillet is hot, cook the burgers until brown and cooked through (roughly 4 to 6 minutes per side). (You can use a grill to cook the burgers, but we’re going to be coming back to the skillet later on – so this reduces the amount of “tools” needed to complete the dish).
While your burgers are cooking, slice the buns and spread a thin layer of mayo on each bun. Split the cheese slices in half, and place one half of the cheese on the bottom bun. Next, place the finished burger on top of the cheese. Add your desired amount of yellow mustard and then top that with the slices of ham. Add the other half of the cheese slice and top it all off with the bun.
Return your skillet to medium heat and bring it up to temperature (if necessary, it may still be hot after preparing the burgers). If the beef left a lot of fat in the pan, clean it out with a paper towel before returning it to heat. A small amount of fat is okay to leave (the flavor will just transfer to the buns).
Add the burgers to the skillet and then place a sandwich press on top to “squish” the whole sandwich down. If you don’t have a sandwich press, you can substitute with a heavy cast iron skillet or even a few canned good on top of a plate, so long as it’s heavy and food safe, it will suffice.
After about 2 minutes, remove the press and flip the burgers. Return the press and cook for an additional two minutes. Once the buns have been cooked to a nice crunchy finish, remove the burgers from the skillet and lift the top bun (the cheese should cling to the ham nicely here) and add a pickle. All that’s left is to serve and enjoy!
You won’t ever confuse this with a traditional Cuban sandwich, but the same flavors and concept are there to make this a nice “Cuban flavored” burger. The beef actually works well as a stand in for the roasted pork of the original – but if you’ve had some truly great Cuban sandwiches, you can only think “I should have just used roasted pork”. In fact, you could use ground pork in place of ground beef to create a more authentic flavor – but that would go against the spirit of our burger themed summer. All in all, this is a very tasty burger. Just don’t plan on it taking the place of a traditional Cuban sandwich on any menus.