Spanish Chorizo and Beef Burgers with Manchego Cheese Recipe

While the leaves are turning color and pumpkin-spiced goodies are appearing everywhere, there is still plenty of time to hang out and grill—especially when the weekend forecast calls for summer-like temps.

After a long season of grilling your tried-and-true favorites, you can spice up the menu and your burgers with Spanish flair. One of the trademarks of Spanish cooking is the use of small amounts of sausage as a flavoring in many dishes, notes meat expert Bruce Aidells, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. Chorizo is the generic Spanish name for a host of pork sausages that vary from region to region but usually contain paprika, garlic and other seasonings. Spanish chorizo isn’t spicy like Mexican chorizo, which shouldn’t be used here. However, you can substitute andouille sausage and increase the amounts of paprika and garlic by half, suggests Aidells.

To make cooking and entertaining easy, you can make these burgers up to four hours ahead and refrigerate until you’re ready to fire up the grill.

Spanish Chorizo and Beef Burgers with Manchego Cheese

Serves 4

Saffron and Pimento Mayonnaise
2 tbsp. diced pimento or piquillo pepper
12 c. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
Pinch Spanish saffron

14 pound Spanish-style chorizo, diced
114 pounds ground beef
1 tbsp. Spanish paprika
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 c. shredded Manchego cheese
4 large French rolls, split and toasted
Thinly sliced tomato (preferably heirloom)
Hearts of romaine lettuce leaves

To make saffron and pimento mayonnaise, chop pimentos in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make burgers, put diced chorizo into a food processor and pulse several times to grind finely. Transfer chorizo to a bowl and add ground beef, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to gently blend. Form into 4 oval patties roughly the size of rolls and set aside or refrigerate until ready to grill.

Preheat grill to medium. Place burgers on grill and cook for about 4 minutes, then turn and cook for about 3 minutes more. Cover patties with cheese, then cover grill and cook until the cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute more.

Spread insides of French rolls with saffron and pimento mayonnaise. Place a burger on bottom half of each roll, then top with tomato, lettuce leaves, and other half of roll, and serve.

Nutrition info (per serving): Calories 836 (497 From Fat); Fat 55g (Sat. 18g); Chol 144mg; Sodium 1779mg; Carb 37g; Fiber 2g; Protein 47g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.