Torta Burgers with Smoky Sweet Black Beans and Melted Asadero

Pairs well with:


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

Raised in Houston and a Texan through-and-through (my daughter is ninth generation), my cooking is heavily influenced by Mexican flavors.This burger is my version of a Tex-Mex-style “torta” sandwich.


Crema Lime Mayo:
2 tablespoons Crema Mexicana
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced

Black Beans:
4 slices smoked bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped 1015 onion (Texas sweet onion)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
Salt and pepper to taste

1 3/4 pound ground sirloin
1/4 pound fresh pork chorizo, casings removed
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Mexican oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
3 cups grated Asadero cheese (such as Cacique brand, Monterey Jack may be substituted)
6 Bolillo buns, split
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 cups cool, shredded lettuce
6 large slices tomato
1 medium avocado, sliced


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

In a small bowl combine crema, mayonnaise, lime juice and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

To make the Black Beans, place the bacon in a 10-inch fire-proof skillet and place on the grill rack. Cook the bacon until just crisp. Add onion and cook and stir about 5 minutes. Add black beans and zinfandel to the skillet and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Smash with a potato masher until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, to make the patties, combine the beef, chorizo, oregano, salt and pepper. Form and into patties. Place a slight indention in centers of patties.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until completely cooked through, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Top patties with cheese during final 4 minutes of cooking to melt. Spread buns lightly with butter; add buns cut side down on edges of grill rack during final 2 minutes of cooking to lightly toast.

Spread bun bottoms with black beans and sprinkle with lettuce. Add patties, cheese side up; layer on tomato and avocado. Spread bun tops with mayo and add to burgers.

Serves 6