I can’t decide if this post is about chorizo burgers, or the bacon-tomato ketchup I served with them.
The chorizo burgers themselves I adapted from a NYT recipe by Suzanne Goin (chef/owner Lucques, AOC in LA). They’re everything (and more) of what I like from a burger – “spicy, warm, and sloppy to eat.”
The basis of these burgers is ground pork which gets spiced with chorizo flavors like cumin and dried chiles de árbol. Mexican chorizo is also added to the meat mixture, as is raw bacon, chopped into tiny bits. These additions make the burger highly aromatic and quite juicy. Which means you really have to take care to cook these burgers all the way through. Pork should be pink inside, but not at all rare. To help accomplish this I made these chorizo burgers a bit smaller and a bit thinner than I usually do. I had no problem getting them cooked through on the stove. However, Ms. Goin suggests finishing them in a hot oven if they’re getting too brown before they’ve reached an interior temperature of 140–160°F. Use your own judgement.
Suzanne Goin serves her chorizo burgers with aioli and romesco sauce. Sounds delish. But I went a different route. I chose a bacon-tomato ketchup that took 4 hours to make!
Which is why I want to spend some (more) time talking about the ketchup.
I call the sauce for this burger bacon-tomato ketchup, because burgers and ketchup go together like monkeys and bananas, or Lucy and Ethel. However this ketchup is really a bacon-laced soffritto. All good soffrittos take hours to cook, so in this regard my bacon-tomato ketchup isn’t so unexpected.
Soffritto is an onion-based “building block” that is often the backbone of Mediterranean recipes. In my version the onions (and bacon) are cooked slowly in olive oil until they’re deeply golden brown and quite jammy. Smashed tomatoes are added to the mixture and it continues to cook for another couple of hours until it transforms itself into a deeply rich sauce that can be used as a flavor base in pasta, rice dishes and rich braises. It can also be a condiment slathered onto Chorizo Burgers. GREG