Mexican Chorizo-Style Burgers with Avocado, Tomato, and Pain de Mie

Pairs well with:


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


1-1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80/20% lean to fat)
1 pound ground sirloin (80/20% lean to fat)
1 egg, beaten
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chili powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
2 teaspoons finely-minced jalapeno peppers
1 teaspoon kosher or grey salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 (16 oz) unsliced loaves pain de mie, or firm bread, frozen
Olive oil
Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
Sour cream for garnish
2 firm ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla, sliced and soaked in ice water
2 firm ripe Hass avocados, peeled and sliced
Fine salt, to taste



Generously oil the grate of a gas grill and preheat to medium-high on one side and medium on the other. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the chuck, sirloin, egg, garlic, vinegar, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, minced jalapeno pepper, salt and cumin. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a square burger, making a deep indentation in the center; set aside. Cut off and discard the crusts from well-frozen bread loaves and cut them into 12 (1-inch thick) neat slices, saving the remaining bread for another purpose*. Lightly drizzle one side of each with olive oil; set aside. Arrange burgers on the medium-hot side of grill, straight side down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and grill the other side another 4 minutes or until medium-rare (160 degrees). Meanwhile, place bread slices on the grill, oil side down. Toast until lightly golden, turn and toast the other side until golden. To plate: For each burger, place a layer of shredded lettuce on one slice of toasted bread, add a teaspoonful of sour cream, a burger, slivers of crisp onion, a slice of tomato and 2 or 3 avocado slices. Sprinkle lightly with salt, add another slice of toasted bread, use 2 long picks to secure the layers, then cut in half diagonally and serve. Repeat with remaining burgers. * Pulse in a food processor for fresh bread crumbs, package in 1-cup measures and freeze for future use.