If I have a commitment to anything, on my trip through life on this big blue marble, it’s diversifying my approach to eating as much Mexican chorizo as I possibly can. In Maine, chorizo can be tough to come by. It’s available either only in high-priced supermarkets, where the high quality cuts of meat result in an overpriced, overwrought sausage that strays too far from its humble roots, or in import stores that are either non existent or too difficult to integrate into daily shopping trips, or in the select few Wal-Marts that abut communities with a high population of migrant workers. (That’s right; you’re as likely to find fresh Mexican chorizo in the Wal-Marts of Aroostook, as you are in the “big cities” down South.) In Maine, more often than not, we had to make our chorizo, ourselves, just so we could have a decent hamburger al pastor every now and again.
In California, however, fresh Mexican chorizo is everywhere. It’s friggin’ EVERYWHERE, my dude. It’s in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, right next to the hot dogs and the cotija and the life-giving Mexican crema that flows freely through Los Angeles. It’s sold by the bright-red pound in the bulk case at the butcher. It fills the piñatas that little kids smack at their birthday parties with family in the park. And it’s just dying to be integrated into a hamburger.
Unlike its cured Spanish counterpart, Mexican chorizo is raw, ground pork seasoned with spicy chile peppers and spiked with vinegar, that must be cooked before eating. It’s intensely flavorful and insanely fatty, and is wonderful scrambled up with some eggs and some leftover potatoes for breakfast in the morning. For this burger, we combine fresh Mexican chorizo with 90% lean ground beef to give the burger a little more substance and to make it easier to work with. We normally wouldn’t dream of making a burger with such a low fat content beef, but there is so much fat in the chorizo, that juiciness won’t be a problem. I wanted this burger to be reminiscent of my favorite Mexican breakfast, so I did what anyone would do: I topped it with a crunchy layer of hash browns (you can use prepackaged shredded potatoes for this, or even those crispy prefab hash browns that go in your toaster), and a fried egg. The resulting burger is an over-the-top mashup of cultures and flavors that you can enjoy at any time of day.
- ½ pound fresh Mexican chorizo
- ½ pound 90% lean ground beef
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup packaged shredded potato hash browns ("Simply Potatoes," or similar)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1½ tablespoons hot sauce, preferably Cholula
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 slices pepper jack cheese
- 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted, for serving
- Bibb lettuce, for serving
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced, for serving
- 4 fried eggs, for serving
- Mix ground chorizo and ground beef with your hands until combined, taking care not to overwork the mixture. Divide into four 3" patties about 1" thick. Combine mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Divide potatoes into fourths, and roll into a ball. Press each ball down in the pan into patty shape and cook, about 6 inutes per side, until brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Add remaining two tablespoons of oil to the pan. Cook patties, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness, about 12 minutes for medium rare. Place 1 slice cheese over each burger; cook until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes more. Serve on hamburger buns with spicy mayonnaise, hash brown patties, lettuce, and sliced avocado. Top each burger with a fried egg just before serving.