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Burger Al Pastor

This burger was inspired by my frequent business trips to Mexico City. On just about every street corner in Mexico City, you will find "Tacos Al Pastor", which are tacos served in a small tortilla with marinated pork and a multitude of toppings including cilantro, pineapple and onion. As soon as I return home, I begin to crave this Mexican treat so I've come up with my own version with an American spin. I hope you enjoy this unique blend of flavors as much as I do!


2 dried Ancho Chiles
3 canned Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Whole Cumin Seeds
1 tsp. Whole Coriander Seeds
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
Juice of One Lime
1 lb. Ground Chuck, 80% lean/20% Fat
Salsa Topping-
2 Cups Fresh Pineapple Diced
3/4 Cup Cilantro Finely Chopped
3/4 Cup Red Onion diced
Juice of One Lime
1/2 tsp salt
Vegetable Oil for greasing grill rack
6 slices Queso Oaxaco or Queso Campesino (Both are authentic Mexican cheeses which are available at most local grocery stores).
1 loaf Ciabatta Bread, cut in half lengthwise and then cut in six (6) cross sections, forming six (6) "Buns"
2 Tbsp. Butter softened


Preheat the gas grill to medium-high heat. To make the patties, soak the dried ancho chiles in warm water for 30 minutes to re-hydrate them. Once they are re-hydrated, remove them from the water and cut open the chiles from bottom to top. Remove all of the seeds and stem. Combine the ancho chiles, chipotle chiles, garlic cloves, rice wine vinegar, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, salt and the lime juice into a food processor and procss until it forms a thick paste. Combine the paste and the ground chuck in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until all of the paste has been incorporated. Divide the mixture into six (6) equal portions and form the portions into patties that will fit the bread. To make the salsa topping, combine the diced pineapple, cilantro, onion, lime juice and salt in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Place in refrigerator to marinate until the burgers are ready to assemble. Brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and grill the patties 4-5 minutes on the first side. Turn the patties and grill an additional 3-4 minutes for medium/medium-well. During the final 2-3 minutes of grilling, place one slice of cheese on each patty, close the grill cover and melt. At the same time the cheese is placed on the patties, take the 6 sections of bread, top and bottom, and spread the butter on the cut sides of each section. Place the bread pieces butter side down on the grill, not directly over the flame and toast lightly, 1-2 minutes. Both the cheese melting process and the bread toasting should finish at approximately the same time. Remove the patties and the bread from the grill, place them on a plate and prepare to assemble the burgers. To assemble the burgers, place patty on the buttered side of each bread bottom. Spoon a generous amount of salsa on top of each patty. Add the bread tops and serve.


This recipe makes 6 burgers. I have found that these burgers should be served with a Sutter Home 2001 Cabernet!