Square Deal Chorizo-style Burgers with Avocado and Pain de Mie

Pairs well with:


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


2-1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80/20% lean to fat)
1 egg, beaten
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 (16 oz) unsliced loaves pain de mie, or firm bread, frozen
Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
Sour cream
2 firm ripe Hass avocados, peeled and sliced



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, mix together thoroughly the chuck, egg, garlic, vinegar, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, oregano, chipotle powder, salt, red pepper, and sugar. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and shape each into a square burger. Make a deep indentation in the center of each and set them aside. Cut off and discard the crusts from rozen loaves of bread and cut them into 12 (1-inch thick) neat slices, saving the remaining bread for another purpose*. 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, 2 or 3 avocado slices, and another slice of toasted bread. Use 2 wooden picks to secure the layers, and cut it in half diagonally and serve. Repeat with the remaining burgers. * Pulse in a food processor for fresh bread crumbs, package in 1-cup measures and freeze for future use.