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.
Yields 4 burgers.
2 Tbs. extra-virgin
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
and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 lb. ground
round (85% lean)
1-1/2 tsp. ground
1-1/2 tsp. dried
1/4 cup finely
chopped fresh cilantro
4 5- to 6-inch
Thin red onion
In a medium
skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat.
Add the onion,
garlic, jalapeño, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
occasionally, until softened, about 3 min.
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 4 burgers, 3/4 inch thick and 4 inches across, working the meat as little as
Make a 1/4-inch
dent in the center of each burger with the tips of your middle three fingers.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Serve this flavorful
burger with a Grilled Raddichio and Romaine Salad.
(per serving): Size: based on 4 servings, Calories (kcal): 706, Fat (kcal): 47,
Fat Calories (g): 426, Saturated Fat (g): 12, Protein (g): 42, Monounsaturated Fat
(g): 29, Carbohydrates (mg): 28, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 4, Sodium (g): 867, Cholesterol
(g): 126, Fiber (g): 5.