A spicy burger with a Mexican twist
The flavours infused into the meat
and topped of with smokey spiced sauce!
I’ve always liked burgers, and I’ve made so many different ones over the years, so it seemed only right to also share a burger recipe here. Mind you, we’re not talking the shoe sole type of burger you might find in certain chains, no we’re talking the real deal. I can’t say it’s the best burger in town, but I can say it’s the best I’ve had in town. I don’t think you’d be surprised if I tell you I’ve tried a lot of burger places. Many of them also claim to serve “gourmet” burgers, but what always disappoints me is that the gourmet part is only in the toppings. The meat usually comes plain, boring, sometimes even dry. The burgers I’m making today are in fact very simple, and easy to adjust to your personal taste.
So what makes these burgers any different from many others, and why? The main point is that a lot of the flavours get infused into the meat, along with the proper ingredient mix to make sure the burgers end up being juicy, even when grilled until well done. A burger can’t come without the basics, such as bacon and cheese. Now the bacon is important here. First of all because bacon is important. Second of all because it makes any dish better. But most importantly because we’ll use it to wrap the burger. This will help to keep the burger moist on the inside and also helps to keep it nicely together. On top of that, the thin bacon slices won’t start to shrink as soon as they hit the grill.
Burgers tend to come with some sides like Belgian Fries and coleslaw, which were included in today’s dish, but I won’t include them in the recipe. All other secrets for my favourite burger can be found below.
Today I made 3 burgers, each about 200g. Adjust the quantities should you intend to go for different numbers or sizes.
- 550g ground steak
- 20g fresh coriander
- Half an onion
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 coffee spoon of Cumin, Chipotle, Smoked bell pepper, Cajun
- Salt to taste
- Fresh chili peppers (here I went for jalapeños)
- 1 Egg (optional)
- 6 slices of breakfast bacon
Since it’s ridiculous to hold on to half an onion, the other half is used as pickled onions that go onto the burger as a topping. This is just done in some red wine vinegar, so it can be done in advance. For completeness, the rest of the ingredients for the burger are listed below, but these can of course be tailored to your liking!
For the burgers, we chop up half an onion, the koriander and the chili peppers. We mix it with the juice of 2 limes and all the spices. This we all add to the minced meat. Typically the mixture will be quite moist at this stage, so we add breadcrumbs until it has the desired texture. Should the meat be fairly dry, you could also add an egg to the mix, but in this recipe that one is actually replaced by the lime juice.
Then we shape our burgers and wrap them each in two slices of bacon. This will help keeping your burger nice and juicy during grilling and beyond!
This is already the most important work done! Now it just comes down to grilling to perfection and serving. For sure the best ones will come from wood or charcoal grill, but also just an electrical grill will do the trick. I served on simple buns with some rucola and slices of tomato. Next I added the burger and two slices of cheese, which I topped with the pickled onions and my Smokey Hot Italian Fire sauce.
Although burgers are quite self-explanatory, some recommendation from my side.
- Always grill your burgers. Preferentially on an actual fire grill, but other grills will also do.
- Burgers go with bacon and cheese. Anything served without is just a sandwich.
- Do not go too thin with these burgers. With a thickness of about 2 cm as shown over here, it’s perfectly possible to grill them well done and keep them moist. The thinner the burgers are, the easier it will be to cook them dry.
- Experiment with spices, I’m sure I’ll post other mixes in the future, but you’ll find your own as well if you play around a little!