Aztec Chipotle Cheeseburger with Fresh Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Pairs well with:


Hard to pronounce yet easy to drink, this wine combines lychee fruit and white peach flavors with a hint of spice.


2 pounds ground chuck, 80/20 mixture
3 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage (available in refrigerated section of supermarket)
½ cup diced red onion
2 large garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
6 slices pepper jack cheese
6 good quality, soft Kaiser rolls, split

2 ripe Haas avocados
1 ripe Roma tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped finely
½ white onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed
¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Juice of 2 freshly squeezed limes
½ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pico de Gallo:
5 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed, chopped finely
1 small white onion, minced
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers
Juice of 2 freshly squeezed limes
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the pico de gallo: In a medium bowl, add tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt and mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Prior to serving, taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

To make the guacamole: Cut avocados in half lengthwise, remove pit, and scoop out avocado from the peel and place in a mixing bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the onion, cilantro, lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper and continue to mash. Add in the jalapeno pepper and stir with fork. Add the tomatoes just before ready to serve. Taste guacamole and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic comes into direct contact with the guacamole, and place in refrigerator until ready to use. Note: if making guacamole more than 1 hour ahead of time, save the pits from the avocados and place them in center of guacamole. This will prevent the guacamole from turning brown.

To make the patties: combine chuck, chorizo, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Use hands to shape into 6 patties to fit the buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Top each burger with 1 slice of pepper jack cheese during the last 1-2 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly during the last 2-3 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, place the bottom roll on a plate. On each roll bottom, place a grilled patty, followed by equal portions of guacamole, then pico de gallo. Gently press the pico de gallo into the guacamole to make it stick. Add the roll tops and serve.