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Argentine-Style Burger

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Yields four burgers.

  • To learn more, read:
    A Burger with a Twist
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 73

While this burger won't come together quite as quickly as a basic one, the few extra touches are well worth the time. Sautéing the onion and garlic before adding them to the meat makes for more integrated flavor, as well as a better consistency in the burger. The chimichurri adds intense flavor, and if there's any left over, it's perfect on grilled vegetables, steak, fish, or chicken. What we have is beyond your basic burger, but it's a keeper, especially for those times when you want something jazzy and new.

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (from 1/2 medium-small onion)
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic (from 6 to 7 medium cloves)
  •  1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeño (from 3/4 medium chile)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground round (85% lean)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 5- to 6-inch pita pockets
  • Thin red onion slices (optional)
  • Lettuce leaves (optional)
  • Chimichurri Sauce

In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 min. Transfer to a medium bowl, let cool for 10 min., and then add the ground beef, cumin, oregano, cilantro, 1 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Mix gently with your hands until just combined. Shape the meat into four burgers, 3/4 inch thick and 4 inches across, working the meat as little as possible. Make a 1/4-inch dent in the center of each burger with the tips of your middle three fingers.

Argentine-Style Burger Recipe
To pan-cook burgers:

Put a large skillet or griddle, preferably cast iron, over high heat and let it get very hot, about 2 min. (The pan is hot enough when a drop of water evaporates instantly.) Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and tilt the pan to spread it evenly. Arrange the burgers so there’s as much space as possible between them, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook, uncovered, for 5 min. Turn and cook until the burger feels springy but not mushy when poked, about 3 min. for medium rare (or longer if you’re concerned about undercooked meat).

To grill burgers:

Charcoal: Prepare a medium-hot fire. Cook the burgers, uncovered, on one side for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the burgers feel springy but not mushy when poked, another 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare.

Gas: Heat the grill to high. When the interior temperature is about 500°F, cook the burgers for 3 minutes with the lid closed. Turn, close the lid, and cook until the burgers feel springy but not mushy when poked, another 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare.

To serve:

Cut the top inch or so off the pitas to open up the pockets wide enough to fit the burgers. Serve the burgers in the pita with red onion and lettuce, if using, and some of the chimichurri sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this flavorful burger with a Grilled Raddichio and Romaine Salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 706; Fat (g): fat g 47; Fat Calories (kcal): 426; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 42; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 29; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 28; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 867; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 126; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I care nothing for the fact this isn't authentically Argentine, though, based on the previous reviews, I'm now interested in trying some true Argentine recipes. In any case, every single time I make this it's a HUGE hit.... even skeptics love the chimmichurri sauce and I will double the sauce next time. It IS a labor intensive recipe so I only make it for certain occasions but it's definitely worth the response.

That is so true, my husband is Argentine and I know for sure they don't use cilantro and jalapeno. They use parsley and garlic, my mother in law has NEVER used jalapeno and/or cilantro in any of her argentine dishes!

Seems tasty, but... Jalapeno? Cumin? Cilantro? Not Argentinian at ALL! You can't even buy a jalapeno there! Trust me, I was born and raised there and had countless asados. Chimichurri does not use cilantro. Period. We only use parsley, garlic, pimenton (spicy paprika), oregano, red wine vinegar and salt. Maybe a little white pepper.

I like to add, even though is a good recipe, pita bread and cilantro don't speak Argentinean, generally chimichurri is made with parsley....

What a delicious burger! Worth making for the chimichurri sauce alone. The only thing I altered was serving the burger on a bun, rather than a pita, as the only pitas I could find at my store didn't seem up to the task of supporting a big, juicy burger. I used ciabatta instead and that worked out great. Looking forward to next summer when I can make these again!

I would agree that normal pitas won't stand up to the juicy burgers and sauce. However, this recipe deserves 5 stars. I've used it multiple times and grilling the burgers results in juicy, delicious patties and the chimichurri sauce is the best I've tasted. While we've tried different recipes for this sauce my family always requests that I use this terrific recipe when I grill the Argentine-style burgers. In fact, we use the sauce on grilled flank steak and it is phenomenal!

Made it for a family party and it was just okay. I thought a lot of work then for just okay. I wouldn't recommend using the pita (what a disaster!).

Great burger, recipe is excellent! Fantastic also on good burger buns.

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