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Recipe

Spicy Mexican Burger

Servings: 4

This burger by Joe Isidori from Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer is so flavorful you almost don’t need any toppings. If you like, try it with ground turkey (or even pork, as at Isidori’s restaurant) rather than beef—it still stays moist and delicious. Form the patties at least a day before you cook them.

Ingredients

  • 1 dried guajillo chile
  • Apple-cider vinegar, as needed
  • 2 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1/4 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for the pan
  • 8 thin slices Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack
  • 4 4-inch Portuguese rolls
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo
  • Chipotle mayonnaise, for serving
  • Lettuce, sliced tomato, dill pickle chips, and lime wedges, for serving

Preparation

  • Coarsely tear up the chile, discarding the seeds and stem, and put the pieces in a medium bowl. Cover with about 1/4 cup of vinegar and set aside for 1 hour to soften. Drain the chile, and discard the vinegar. Finely chop the chile.
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the paprika, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and 1-1/2 tsp. black pepper, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the meat, guajillo chile, garlic, toasted spices, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt. Work the meat and spices
    with your hands until just combined (don’t overhandle the meat). Form four 3/4-inch-thick patties the diameter of the bun, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and preferably up to 2 days.
  • Mix 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl, and use half of it to generously season the tops of the
    patties.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add about 1 Tbs. of oil to the pan.
  • Using a spatula, transfer the patties to the pan, seasoned side down, working in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan. Sprinkle the tops of the patties with the remaining salt-pepper mixture. Cook, undisturbed, until the bottoms are browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook until browned on the second side and cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.
  • Put 2 slices of cheese on each burger, add 1 tsp. water to the pan, and cover the pan. Cook until the cheese melts, about 15 seconds, then transfer the burgers to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Use a paper towel to wipe out the browned bits from the pan and add more oil, if necessary. Open the buns, place the bottom halves cut side down in the hot pan, and toast until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the bun tops.
  • Transfer each patty to a bottom bun. Top with pico de gallo. Spread chipotle mayo on each top bun. Serve with lettuce, tomato slices, dill pickles, and lime wedges.

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