It’s hard to comprehend the shear mass appeal of burgers in the US. Fast food chains have created empires with burgers as their foundations, fine dining restaurants serve upscale “burgers” made of a variety of ingredients including Kobe beef, foie gras, and truffles. Some restaurants pride themselves on offering countless varieties of burgers, while other places vie for the title of “World’s Largest Burger.”
Part of the reason for this mass appeal is the burger’s adaptability. The burger lends itself to experimentation. From the meat used, to the seasonings mixed into the meat, to the toppings used to garnish them, the variations are endless. Unfortunately so are the number of crappy burgers and ill conceived toppings. Just because you can put it on a burger doesn’t mean you should. I also don’t believe in the adage that more is better, at least not in most cases. 3-4 well chosen toppings slipped into the bun, along with the burger is more than enough. More than that, and more often than not, you end up with all these conflicting flavors that mask the burger, which should be the star of the show. I am also not a big fan of mixing too many things into the burger meat. I have eaten too many burgers that taste and have the consistency of meatloaf. Sorry that is not a good burger. Typically, I leave all seasonings out of my burger meat and season only after the patty has been made. There are exceptions of course, one of those being when you combine 2 different meats to create your burger mix. The recipe below is one of those exceptions.
I am a huge burger fan, and although I prefer my burgers simple – topped with ketchup, mustard, onion, and pickle – most of the time, I do also like to experiment with numerous variations.
Southwestern Chorizo Burgers
1/4 bunch Cilantro, stems removed
2 tsp. Coriander Seed, freshly ground
1 cup Mayo
Finely chop the cilantro and mix with the coriander and mayo. Make this a few hours ahead, or the night before to allow the flavors to develop.
PICKLED RED ONIONS
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 1/2 each Red onion
Peel the onions and cut into a julienne 1/4 inch thick. Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the onions, return to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow onions to cool in the liquid. When cooled to room temperature store in the refrigerator. This is best made a day or 2 before
BURGERS AND ASSEMBLY
12 oz. Burger Meat 80/20 (the lean to fat ration, most stores now show this on the label
12 oz. Mexican Chorizo
2 each Tomatoes, cored and sliced
4 each Burger Buns
Pickled Red Onions
Light charcoal and allow to burn down until covered with white ash, or pre heat gas grill, on high. Gently but thoroughly combine the burger meat and the chorizo. The key is to not over work the meats, but to gently combine the 2. Form into 4 patties.
Season one side lightly with salt and pepper. Don’t go too heavy as the chorizo is well spiced. Grill over high heat until medium well. This is more done than I usually like my burgers, but with the added chorizo the texture of these burgers cooked less than that is a little soft. Besides the high fat content of the chorizo will keep these burgers plenty moist. Keep an eye on your grill. The higher fat content of these burgers will make the grill want to flare up considerably. When done place your burgers on buns top with the tomato and Pickled Red Onions, smear the top bun with the Cilantro-Coriander Mayo, top the burger and serve.