Chicharrone-Crusted Beef Burgers with Candied Chorizo and Grilled Jicama

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup prepared good-quality mayonnaise
3 tablespoons lime juice, divided usage
1 tablespoon Colavita olive oil
8 ounces dry Spanish chorizo, diced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 jicama, peeled
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
3 cups pork rinds (chicharrones)
2 pounds freshly ground chuck (about 80% lean)
3 large soft Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill
6 bakery sandwich rolls, split
1 cup baby arugula, washed and dried


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

Mash the avocado with a fork; add mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, blending well. Cover and reserve, keeping chilled.

Heat a large, heavy nonstick fireproof skillet on the grill. Add olive oil and diced chorizo, stirring frequently until “crisped.” Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar, tossing until chorizo is coated with melted sugar (watch carefully). Remove chorizo from skillet to a large mixing bowl; let cool.

Slice the jicama into six 1/8-inch thick slices. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice and dust evenly with paprika. Reserve.

Place the pork rinds into a heavy plastic zipper-top bag and seal. Roll with a Sutter Home wine bottle (or a rolling pin) until coarse crumbs are created; remove crumbs to a shallow plate and reserve.

To make patties, combine the cooled chorizo with the ground chuck, chopped dates, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper in the mixing bowl. With clean hands or a large sturdy spoon, mix gently but thoroughly, handling as little as possible to prevent compacting. Form into 6 equal sized patties. Dredge the patties into the crushed pork rinds, patting lightly to help adhere.

Brush the grill grate with vegetable oil; place patties on the rack over direct heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side until the desired doneness is reached. Grill the jicama slices until lightly browned, about 2 to 4 minutes on each side. During the last couple of minutes of grilling, place the rolls, cut sides down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread avocado-mayonnaise mixture over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom place a layer of arugula, a slice of grilled jicama, a cooked patty, then cover with the roll tops and serve while hot. Yield: 6 burgers.