Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Pork and Chorizo Burgers
The humble burger has come so far in the last few years it seems. No longer a simple beef patty (or two or three) on a bun, a burger can be made from a variety of meats, or none at all, come served on any sort of roll, or none at all, and be accompanied by so many different toppings. While burger purists may proclaim the the beginning of the end for the true burger, I for one see it as fantastic for those of us who grill and otherwise entertain during the summer months. Burgers are a comfortable starting point for people when you want to introduce new flavors or ingredients. A twist on an old favorite is always fun on a menu and makes it memorable. Burgers are also easy party food because you can prep the patties and many of the toppings ahead, making them a great addition go any effortless entertaining plan.
A trend in burgers that I particularly enjoy is the stuffed burger. The fillings permeate the entire burger instead of just topping it, and when you stuff a burger with goodies you’d usually pile on the top, you create even more space for more interesting topping combinations without threatening the delicate patty to topping ratio. While cheese immediately comes to mind as the perfect stuffer, and is in fact the stuffing star in this recipe, so many other ingredients are great candidates to secret away in the center of a patty. From caramelized onions to roasted peppers and even diced mushrooms, any sturdy filling will do. Your limited only by your imagination.
The stuffing of the burgers themselves isn’t too difficult once you’ve had a little practice. They even make fun little gadgets to help you create more uniform stuffed burgers. Out of curiosity I tried the stuffed burger press from Sur La Table. I did find it made prettier stuffed burgers than I’d ever made on my own, but it really only worked well when I made 1/2 or 3/4 lb. patties. 6 oz patties, which are my preferred size, didn’t fare as well.
Have you ever made stuffed burgers? What’s your favorite meat and filling combination?
Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Pork and Chorizo Burgers
Combine ground pork with Mexican chorizo and stuff it with gooey melty Monterrey Jack cheese. Add cool lettuce and tomato, along with a slice of avocado or two, to create an homage to the flavors of the Southwest.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Number of servings: 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 50 minutes
- Meal type: Entree
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 lb. coarsely ground Mexican chorizo
- 1/2 c. grated Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1/2 of an avocado, pit removed, cut into 8 slices
- 2-3 medium tomatoes cut into 12 slices
- 4 pieces of green leaf lettuce, washed and patted dry
- Combine the ground pork and chorizo in a medium bowl. Mix with your hands until nicely combined. Be careful not to overwork the meat or it will be tough. Besides, what did it ever do to you?
- Divide the pork and chorizo mixture into eight 4 oz. balls. Form each ball into a patty just slightly larger than your bun.
- Take one patty and cup it in the palm of your had, creating an indentation for the cheese stuffing; place 2 Tbsp. of the cheese into the indentation. Top with another patty and seal well around the edges so the filling won’t leak out as the burger cooks. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture to form three more burgers.
- Sprinkle both sides of the burgers evenly with the kosher salt.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Grill the burgers for 5-7 minutes per side for medium rare. Check to be sure the internal temperature is at least 140 degrees. Remove the burgers from the grill and tent with foil. Let the burgers rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the toppings.
- Add the mayonnaise along with the lime zest and juice to a small bowl; stir to combine.
- Spread about 1 Tbsp. of mayo on the bottom of each bun. Stack a burger patty, two slices of avocado, a piece of lettuce, and 2-3 slices of tomato on then finish with the top of the bun.
- Serve with plenty of napkins and a nice fresh salad.
Recipe for Success
- Be sure to use raw chorizo, otherwise known as Mexican chorizo, not smoked Spanish chorizo. I love local Dai Due wild boar chorizo for my burgers and think it’s coarser grind helps create a meaty burger. Any chorizo will work in this recipe though, so use what you can find.
- If you have a kitchen scale available use it to portion the pork and chorizo mixture into equal 4 oz. portions. You’ll find it’s easier to make stuffed burgers when the patties are similar sizes and your formed burgers will cook more evenly.
- You can form and stuff the burgers up to 8 hours before you plan to cook them. Just be sure to let them sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes before you toss them on the grill.
- Chorizo is usually fatty so it can easily make up for fat that might be missing in leaner ground meats like turkey and chicken; feel free to substitute either of those for the ground pork.
- To give these burgers an Italian flair substitute hot or mild Italian sausage for the chorizo. Try mozzarella as a stuffing.
- Substitute your favorite cheese for the Monterrey Jack, add grilled onions, roasted peppers, or even diced jalapenos. Let your imagination go to work.
- Depending on how hot your chorizo is these burgers can be quite spicy. For a milder burger try a ratio of 1/3 chorizo and 2/3 pork.
- This recipe scales beautifully. Add 8 oz of meat and 2 Tbps. of cheese for each additional burger you need.
- For slightly smaller burgers make 3 oz. patties of the pork and chorizo mixture then stuff two of them with a heaping tablespoon of cheese for a 6 oz. burger.