Casa M Jalapeno Cheddar Burger
When the whole quarantine and stay-at-home mess started Manny and I started prioritizing recipes we had always wanted to do, but never found the time to developing and shooting for posting here on the site. The list was lengthy and it spanned a multitude of cuisine categories from Asian to Mexican to traditional American. High on that American list was the Chain Reaction® Jalapeño Cheddar Burger. But we wanted to do it from scratch, and by scratch I mean we wanted to make the ground beef ourselves. So began the journey and quest to make the most delicious burger we'd ever had. It was relatively easy, to be honest, and far less messy than I had ever anticipated with meat grinders actually having gotten to the point where most of the components are dishwasher safe (read your directions carefully, though, to see what is/isn't). We found a great balance of flavor between choice brisket, cross rib roast, and bacon and started grinding our hearts out. First, we got the ratio of Chain Reaction® dialed in, then we focused on how much jalapeño and shredded Cheddar to add. It was actually a lot of fun and, boy, did we learn a bunch along the way.
The recipe here is for store-purchased ground beef to keep it simple, but next week we will post the recipe and process we used to make the burger blend we used in our original burgers as well as a variation that was even better than the original... think sausage burger. Obviously, critical to the burger process is the ground beef you pick from the store. It needs to be a maximum of 80% lean with 75% or 70% being the preference. Ask your butcher for a burger blend ground beef and (s)he should be able to hook you up with something that will make great burgers. You're looking for a coarse grind with good marbling these two things dictate how juicy the burger will be. When you're mixing things up, remember the less you handle the ground beef, the more juicy the burger will be. More air gaps in the burger because of the coarse grind and not over-handling the patty as you make it means that the fat, as it renders, will fill those gaps and be retained in the finished burger; and everyone knows that it's the fat that gives the burger flavor (well, aside from the Chain Reaction®, of course). We used a burger patty former we got from Amazon and weighed out the burgers to make sure they were all the same weight and the same size because once we got the recipe right, we made just under 100 patties (remember Manny is the youngest of 11 siblings and they were all sheltering at home too, so we were feeding a really big family too -- it's always all about hospitality with the Casa M Family). Having the patties the same weight and size ensures they will cook uniformly on your grill or whatever cooking method you prefer.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Burger Patties:
- 2 pounds burger blend ground beef, 80% lean at MAXIMUM leaning toward 70% where possible, cold from the refrigerator
- 2 Tablespoons Casa M Spice Co® Chain Reaction®
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground 3
- 4 jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely diced
- 4 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded coarsely
For Burger Assembly:
- 6 brioche burger buns
- romaine lettuce, crisp
- red onion, sliced thin
- dijon mustard
When you're mixing things up, remember the less you handle the ground beef, the more juicy the burger will be.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Add the cold ground beef, spices, jalapeños, and cheese in a bowl, in that order, and mix very gently to incorporate. The looser the mixture is at this point, the better. You're just looking to distribute the spices, jalapeños, and cheese evenly.
Weigh out 6 approxiately 7-ounce portions from the bowl forming each into a loose ball.
Place each loosely formed ball onto a piece of burger paper, then onto a burger press, top with another piece of burger paper, then gently press to form the patty. If you don't have a burger press, the goal here is to get a uniform weight and shape so they cook evenly when and however you cook them just try not to over-handle or compress too tightly. You want air-gaps in the burger to hold the rendered fat.
Remove the formed burgers (keeping the paper on both sides) and place onto a plate or small platter. Once all the patties are formed, put them into the refrigerator for a few hours up to overnight for flavors to blend.
Cook the burgers any way you prefer; flat top griddle, cast iron skillet, grill, whatever you like. Flip as needed (in theory no more than twice), but two absolute rules govern here. First, NEVER smash the burger with your spatula. That ejects all the fat being held in the air gaps and makes for a dry burger. Second pull the burgers off the heat at 150°F internal temperature and put onto a plate or platter to rest. They will continue to cook and hit the magic 155°F safety temperature while resting. If you want more cheese, now is the time to add it, while the burgers are resting.
Put each cooked burger onto a brioche bun, dress it according to your preferences, but our recommendation is to keep it simple, a dab of mustard, a few slices of red onions, and a crisp piece of lettuce.