June 25, 2010

Pressed Cuban Burgers

One of our favorite meals in Las Vegas, where we were married in March, was at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. We stopped in spontaneously for an early lunch on the day of our ceremony. Everything we tried was delicious...the tuna "nachos," spicy beef tenderloin tartare, smoked shrimp tacos, & particularly the pressed Cuban burger.

Jerad didn't say much when he took the first bite of the burger. "How is it?" I asked, worried that he wasn't cooing over his food like I was over the shrimp tacos I'd ordered. He smiled slightly, paused, and admitted, "It's probably the best burger I've ever eaten!" He didn't gush over it because he didn't want to share!

Since we've been home, Jerad has reminisced fondly about those burgers with plans to create them someday. After seeing the recipe in Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes book (in which he calls them Miami Burgers), I decided to make them for Jerad last night.

Jerad & I are also featuring this recipe (along with two other burgers, french fries, onion rings, & an adult milkshake) in a couples cooking class we're doing at Kitchen Conservatory this fall. I'll post more details when the new schedule is published on August 1.

Pressed Cuban Burgers

photo from Food Network

1 pound ground chuck (80 percent lean)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
4 hamburger buns, split
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
4 thin slices smoked ham
2 dill pickles, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper. Drizzle the burgers with oil before cooking. Remove the burgers to a plate when they are done. (We like our medium rare to medium.)
  • Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise & roasted garlic in a small bowl and season with salt & pepper to taste. 
  • To assemble, spread the bottom buns with mayonnaise & the top buns with mustard. Begin stacking the burgers on the bottom buns with a slice of cheese, a burger, a slice of ham, another slice of cheese, and some pickles. Cover with the bun tops. (Even though Flay's directions say to do this, it is not how the burger he pictures--see above--is assembled. So, put it together however you want to.) *
  • Cook the burgers on a panini press or wrap the burgers in aluminum foil & cook in a hot skillet over high heat (put a heavy skillet on top of the burgers to press them) until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Serve immediately. 
* Also, Jerad swears there were bread & butter pickles on his burger at Mesa Grill. I can't verify this, though, because he didn't share his damn burger with me.

We ate our burgers at home with Flay's homemade potato chips & blue cheese dipping sauce.


Veronica said...

Holy shit that looks good. I bet I wouldn't share either!!

Anonymous said...

Jealous? Regrets? Dull?

Kelly @ Barbaric Gulp! said...

Jealous? Nope.
Regrets? None.
Dull? Never.

WTF? Looks like the monkey got away from his handler last night.

Aubrey said...

We tried these burgers and loved them! I used ciabatta bread for the buns. We ate them 2 nights in a row, we liked them so much!! Thanks for the recipe!

Kelly @ Barbaric Gulp! said...


Glad you liked them!