Spanish Burger with Pickled Shallots

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
1 hr 5 min
25 min

4 burgers

  • For the spiced butter:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • (chile paste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • For the pickled saffron shallots:
  • 3/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • For the aioli:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon harissa (chile paste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 jarred piquillo peppers (or 1 roasted red pepper), patted dry
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the crispy prosciutto:
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
  • For the burgers:
  • 1 1/4 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (or use 1 1/2 pounds ground 80/20 beef chuck and omit the pork fat)
  • 4 ounces pork fat (omit if using ground chuck)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 slices fontina cheese
  • 4 soft sesame buns, lightly toasted
  • Baby arugula, for topping
  • Make the spiced butter: Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the harissa and garlic and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

  • Make the pickled saffron shallots: Bring the vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and the saffron to a boil in a small saucepan set over medium heat; remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes. Put the shallots in a small bowl, pour the vinegar mixture over them, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

  • Make the aioli: Combine the mayonnaise, harissa, smoked paprika, piquillo peppers, anchovy and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  • Make the crispy prosciutto: Heat the canola oil in a small saute pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add 1 slice of the prosciutto at a time to the pan and cook until just crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

  • Make the burgers: Combine the chuck and fat in a meat grinder and grind coarsely into a large bowl (or put the ground beef in a large bowl). Mix in some salt and pepper. Divide the meat into 4 equal patties.

  • Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat until smoking. Add the canola oil and burgers and cook until the bottoms are golden brown and a crust has formed, about 4 minutes. Flip over and begin brushing with the spiced butter. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and the meat is cooked to medium, 4 more minutes. Top the burgers with the fontina, add a little water to the pan, cover quickly and cook until the cheese is completely melted, about 1 minute.

  • Spread some aioli on the top and bottom buns. Place a burger on each bottom bun; top with some of the pickled shallots, followed by a slice of crispy prosciutto and some arugula. Add the top buns and serve.

  • Photograph by Steve Giralt

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