Stupendous Sensational Spanish Burgers

Pairs well with:


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


Olive Tapenade:
1 1/2 cups pitted green Spanish olives
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Spanish sherry
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Spanish onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Spanish sherry
1/2 pound chorizo (Spanish spicy sausage), roughly chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 (3 by 4 inch) pieces crusty olive bread, halved lengthwise
6 slices of Serrano ham
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise in rings
6 ounces shredded Manchego cheese (a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese)



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the olive tapenade, combine the olives, capers, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, sherry, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarsely pureed. Refrigerate until serving. To make the patties, heat the olive oil in small fire-proof skillet on the grill rack. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place the chorizo in a food processor and process just until coarsely ground. Transfer the chorizo to a large bowl and add the beef, cumin, cilantro, salt, pepper, and the onion mixture. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the olive bread. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the olive bread, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a generous amount of the olive tapenade over the cut sides of the olive bread pieces. On each olive bread bottom, place a slice of Serrano ham, a patty, a few rings of Spanish onion, and equal amounts of Manchego cheese. Add the olive bread tops and serve. Viva La Espana!! Makes 6 burgers.