Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Burgers

This is an adaptation from a fabulous idea Chef Jon had for using our new Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar in a savory recipe.  We have simply shortened it up, and took out some of the cool secondary elements he had in the full recipe.  If you want to see the full recipe, please click here.  The idea is to use the dark chocolate flavor as in a Mexican ‘mole’ – chilies, chocolate and beef are an amazing combo.

When we saw this recipe here in Nan’s test kitchen, we knew before we even tasted that it was a winner.  And then we made it, and we were more than impressed.  Chef Jon called it hilariously good; we will go so far as to say it is one of the best things we have tasted using our products.  A ten year old on our tasting panel devoured two burgers in about 4 minutes.  The chili ‘heat’ level is not overwhelming – we would rate this as slightly less than medium heat.  The ten year old agrees.

One last note, the Manchego cheese is an inspired choice in this recipe.  If you haven’t tried it, it is a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese.  It has a distinctive tangy but buttery taste. If you cannot find it, consider using a gruyere or pecorino cheese.

Yup, I did burn the bun a bit...

  • 1 pound ground beef (we used 80/20)
  • 1 tablespoon PastamorĂ© Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces aged Manchego cheese (regular Manchego also acceptable)
  • 4 sweet hamburger buns (King’s Hawaiian are an awesome choice)
Combine the ground beef, salt, chipotle chile powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the Pastamore Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until evenly combined.  Form the meat into four even sized patties, and place on a plate to the side.

Prepare grill to medium high.  Slice Manchego cheese to divide on four burgers.

Turn on the grill to medium-high heat.   Place burgers on grill.  Turn burgers three times, about a minute to two on each side for medium rare.  Adjust for doneness you prefer.  On the last flip, add the cheese.  Two minutes should be enough for the cheese to melt sufficiently.  At this time, toast the buns on the grill.  Because they are sweet buns, they can burn faster – be advised.

Garnish away.  For our burgers, we garnished with a slice of tomato and some baby spinach leaves.  You can roll like Chef Jon with sweet potato and grilled red bell pepper.  The one thing we noted, as did Chef Jon – we did not need a sauce or ketchup.  And these were the juiciest burgers we have had in a long time.

Serves 4.

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