Ancho chilli sliders

20150604 200515 Version 2

I had an epiphany of sorts. Either that our I just caught up to the rest of society.

I grew up in cattle country.  A place where farmers loved their cows almost as much as their wives and beef was the staple of every household for pretty much every meal. Those day’s are fast disappearing, replaced by industrialized food and the promise of fortune. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing in and of itself, people have to make a living, but what I am saying, is that I grew up on beef more so than kids do nowadays. We would get our beef from the neighbour farmer and have it butchered at the local abattoir. There was no PETA because you knew where your cow stood in the field and what it ate. All this to say,  hamburger was what you did with all the meat that was leftover after everything else was cut into usable steaks and roasts. I never understood the allure of boring burgers. That is to say until now. A byproduct of spending years in Europe is that I have embraced the sausage culture. I can’t get enough of them. I thought to myself, why don’t I experiment and use basic sausage making principles and apply them to what seems to be the patron saint of summertime. Hamburgers. Now a good sausage is a combination of five key ingredients. Ground meat, spices, fat, salt and liquid. Say goodbye to frozen cardboard discs and say hello to the best burger you will have this summer. This particular recipe is loosely based off a recipe for Mexican chorizo. Enjoy.

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 What you need:

  • 500g (1 lb) of your favourite quality ground beef (this does not have to be super extra ultra lean, in fact regular is preferred)
  • 20g coarse kosher sea salt
  • 20g ancho chillies chopped finely or pulsed in a food processor
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 10g dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or even better bacon fat)
  • 50 ml cold tequila, whiskey or dark rum, not all, just one! (you can substitute water, wine, or  vinegar)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to your taste)
  • Optional, crushed chillies added to your desired heat level

How it’s done:

  • Add all the ingredients except for the liquor in a large mixing bowl
  • Using your hands hands mix well, squishing and working the meat to evenly distribute the spices
  • Keep working until the meat mixture gets sticky and begins to adhere to itself (this will make sense when you see it happen)
  • Put the mixture in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool down
  • Add the liquor and mix again until all the liquid is incorporated and the meat is sticky
  • Shape into desired patties and BBQ over low-med heat. (otherwise you will flare up due to the higher fat content)
  • Serve on a great sourdough bun and slather with your favourite toppings

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