Archive for August 21st, 2011

Like all ground-meat dishes, burgers benefit from some filler. Fillers add flavor and creaminess, and because most contain some starch, and starch absorbs moisture, burgers containing a purée of beans, or bread or cereal, keep their juices better than plain old unadulterated naked ground beef alone. In this burger, the filler is bean dip, which adds a little heat and the fragrance of cumin as well as moisture.

Prep: 5 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for rub)
Grill: 7 minutes

– Long-handled spatula

– The spicy character of these burgers goes well with fresh tomatoes, caramelized onions, assertive greens like spinach or arugula, or a few slices of crisp cucumber.
– If you want to add cheese, make it something you’d add to a chili, like aged Cheddar, Monterey Jack or smoked Gouda.
– If you can’t find corn cakes (such as Thomas’), substitute kaiser rolls (or another crusty round roll).
– Substitute rehydrated powdered black beans or refried beans for the bean dip.

Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire

2 pounds ground beef chuck, 85% lean
¼ cup finely chopped jalapeño en escabèche
(canned jalapeño), drained
½ teaspoon Cajun Blackening Rub
½ cup jarred black bean dip
Oil for coating grill grate
6 store-bought corn cakes
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Using your hands, mix the beef, jalapeño, Cajun rub, and bean dip in a bowl until well blended; do not overmix. Using a light touch, form into 6 patties no more than 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the burgers until the grill is ready.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the burgers on the grill, cover, and cook for 7 minutes, flipping after about 4 minutes, for medium-done (150°F, slightly pink). Add a minute per side for well-done (160°F).
4. To toast the corn cakes, brush with butter and toast directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.
5. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, serve each on top of a corn cake. If the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep the corn cakes and burgers separate until just before eating. Serve with a fork and knife; these are not hand-held.

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