In the beginning, we fielded a lot of complaints about our bacon Manchego cheese burger. Not about the burger itself. (It’s perfect.) Just that a Spanish restaurant had a burger on the menu. But burgers are everywhere in Spain—especially in Madrid—and whenever I’ve visited I’ve always been able to find one, which is crucial when you’re sick of seafood and craving something simpler. Beyond that line of burger defense, we’ve always wanted to be an affordable neighborhood restaurant with a really top-notch $10 burger. This is it.–John Gorham and Liz Crain
LC Best. Burger. Ever. Note
Chances are you’ve not had a burger like this before. Not just because of the Spanish-inspired accoutrements, which result in it being, essentially, a bacon Manchego cheese burger, but because of the burger itself. See, the authors rely on a cut of meat called the chuck flap, which is a large section of rib meat with a lot of extremely beefy flavor. It’s essentially a particular kind of chuck. Four parts ground chuck to one part ground rib eye works just dandy in its place in the recipe below. (One of our dear and discerning recipe testers did the math for us, and it equates to 2.4 ounces ground rib eye and 9.6 ounces ground chuck. Besos, Robert!) Best. Burger. Ever. Olé!
Bacon Manchego Cheese Burger
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Makes 2 burgers
- 12 ounces beef, preferably chuck flap or another cut that's 15% to 18% fat (see LC Note above)
- 4 slices bacon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 slices young (aged just 3 to 6 months) Manchego cheese (1 ounce each)
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 hamburger buns, preferably sesame seeded, split
- 2 tablespoons Romesco Sauce
- 1 cup mesclun greens or arugula (optional)
- 12 to 16 slices Pickled Zucchini (optional)
- 1. If the butcher didn’t grind the beef for you, grind it in the food processor until it’s relatively fine. Immediately put it in a stand mixer and paddle the meat on medium for 1 minute.
- 2. Shape the meat into 2 equal-size patties, each about 6 ounces and, ideally, slightly larger than the buns. (The authors use small cazuelas to shape theirs. They put a piece of plastic wrap in each cazuela and form the burgers to that size and then cover and refrigerate them.) Salt and pepper both sides of the patties.
- 3. In a medium cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until slightly crisped. Remove the bacon and set it aside. Discard all but 1 to 2 tablespoons bacon fat from the pan and crank the heat to medium-high. Cook the patties for 1 to 2 minutes on one side, so they get a nice char. Flip the patties and place first the bacon, followed by the cheese, on the already cooked side. Cover and cook for another minute for medium-rare burgers. If you prefer a less-pink burger, simply cook another minute or two on each side.
- 4. Meanwhile, butter the buns and place them, cut side down, in another skillet over medium-high heat until nicely toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- 5. Slather 1 tablespoon Romesco onto the bottom half of each butter-toasted bun. Place the burger patties on top of the Romesco and garnish each burger with greens and 6 to 8 slices Pickled Zucchini, if using. Plonk the top half of the bun on the stack of bacon cheeseburger goodness and serve.