Bocadillo Burgers with Catalan Spinach, Piquillo Peppers and Saffron Aioli

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

While doing some Spanish cuisine research I discovered the bocadillo, the popular sandwich of Spain. Like many Spanish dishes, bocadillos vary by region but are generally served on a crusty baguette with a variety of toppings, especially chorizo and manchego cheese. I added some additional regional flare to this burger with piquillo peppers and saffron. Buen Provecho!


2 ½ pounds Ground Beef Chuck
4 ounces Chorizo Sausage, small dice
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
½ tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons Salt
1 ½ teaspoons Cracked Black Pepper

Catalan Spinach and Peppers:
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Garlic Cloves, minced
¼ cup Spanish Onion, minced
¾ cup Jarred Piquillo Peppers, drained and sliced
3 cups Baby Spinach
3 tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
3 tablespoons Sutter Home Merlot
1 ½ teaspoons Salt

Saffron Aioli:
1/4 teaspoon Saffron
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
¾ cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper

Oil for brushing the grill

2 Baguettes, ends removed and cut into 6 equal portions (large enough to fit the burger patties)
2 tablespoons Butter, softened

1cup Manchego Cheese, shaved


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

To make the patties:
In a large bowl mix together ground beef, chorizo, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper using a spoon as to not over work the meat. Portion into 6 equal patties cover and chill until ready to grill.

To make the Catalan Spinach:
Heat olive oil in a fire proof skillet and saute garlic and onions until onions begin to caramelize, around 5 minutes. Add peppers, spinach, pine nuts and merlot and continue to saute until spinach has wilted and wine has evaporated, around 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and set aside until ready to assemble the burgers.

To make the Saffron Aioli:
Steep saffron in lemon juice in a medium bowl until liquid turns yellow, around 2-3 minutes. Whisk in mayonnaise, Dijon, salt and pepper until blended. Cover and chill until ready to assemble the burgers.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, covered, or until desired doneness is reached. Brush the baguettes with butter and place on the grill, cut side down to toast.

To assemble the burgers, generously brush the baguettes with the saffron aioli, top with the patties, spinach mixture and manchego cheese. Serve immediately.