RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Havana Style Pressed Burgers

Have you ever been to Havana, or Cuba, or even a Cuban restaurant here in the U.S.? If so, you must have tried a Cuban pressed sandwich before--Cuban bread (similar to an Italian loaf) layered with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, and then pressed together on a hot grill so all the juices flow and meld together. What could be better on this earth? There might just be one thing--a Cuban-sytle pressed burger. Here, ground pork mixes with beef to represents the roast pork used in the traditional Havana-style sandwich. Topped with the usual--ham, cheese and pickles--and then pressed on the grill, it may not be truly authentic and a little American-ized, but it tastes darn good.


1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (1/2oz.-each) slices Swiss cheese
6 slices (3oz.) smoked or Black Forest ham
12 dill pickle slices 
6 Kaiser rolls, split
1/3 cup Dijon or hot Dijon mustard


Prepare charcoal barbeque grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Combine beef, pork, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 6 patties about 4-1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place on grid over medium-hot coals. Grill covered 5 minutes per side or until meat is no longer pink in center (165 degrees F). Spread both sides of rolls with mustard. Place cooked patties on bottom of rolls; top each with 1 slice cheese, 1 slice ham and 2 pickle slices. Close burgers with roll tops. Wrap each burger in foil. Return foil-wrapped burgers to center of grill placed closely to each other. Place a cookie sheet over burgers; place a brick, cast iron skillet, or heavy pan on cookie sheet to act as a pres. Cover grill and cook 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and burgers are hot.


Serve with Sutter Home Zinfandel that's light enough to not overpower the taste of the burger, but give your tastebuds a little zing.