Story and photos by Karyl Henry, KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com
May is National Burger Month, and I’m ready to fully support and embrace it. My first burger recipe on the blog was a Venison Cheeseburger. I’ve also got an amazing Loaded Zesty Portobello Burger. But what I don’t have are any burgers made with good old fashioned ground beef. So what better way to kick off National Burger Month and an ode to Cinco de Mayo, than with an Avocado Salsa Fresca Burger.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- The avocado and Salsa Fresca add a wonderful freshness.
- Homemade burger patties are very easy to make.
- These burgers are great for a burger bar, and you can let your guests top as they please.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT HOMEMADE BURGERS
- The fat content is more important than the cut of beef. You want 15-20% fat content for the juiciest burgers.
- Yes, of course, you can grind your own meat. But I don’t have a meat grinder, and that seems like a lot of work. Luckily, I have a butcher not too far away, so I buy from them.
- Some people use just salt and pepper, but I also add onion powder and garlic powder. I also add a little bit of Worcestershire Sauce, and that adds a wonderful depth of flavor. It’s hard to explain the taste, but I can tell a difference when I don’t use it.
- Do not overmix the meat. If you handle it too much, your burgers will be dense and heavy.
- I make 5 oz patties, about 1/2″ thick. Form the portions into a ball first, and then flatten into patties. A Burger Press is very helpful.
- Once you add the patties to the grill, leave them alone. Every time you turn or move the patties, or open the grill, you slow down the cooking time.
- Don’t squash the patties once they’re on the grill. The only thing you’re doing is squeezing out all the beautiful juiciness. If you like thin patties, then shape them that way before putting them on the grill.
COOKING METHOD AND TIME FOR AVOCADO SALSA FRESCA BURGER
I use my outdoor gas grill, or a Grill Pan on the stove when the weather doesn’t cooperate. A flat top griddle is a great option as well, but you won’t get the grill marks.
Cooking time depends on the size and thickness of your burger, and how you like it cooked. For 5 oz patties that are about 1/2” thick, I grill mine for 5-6 minutes per side.
TOPPINGS FOR AVOCADO SALSA FRESCA BURGERS
As I mentioned before, Avocado Salsa Fresca Burgers are perfect for a burger bar. I recommend adding fresh or grilled jalapeno, cilantro, and even lettuce to the bar, and let your guests top their burgers to their liking.
AVOCADO: I peel, seed and dice the avocado into chunks. All the avocado needs is a little salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and then roughly mash it with a fork.
SALSA FRESCA: Fresh is the name of the game, and it couldn’t be easier to make. I use vine-ripened tomato, white onion, jalapeño, cilantro, salt, and fresh lime juice. I make the Salsa Fresca about 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to develop. I also make extra and serve it with my Baked Tortilla Chips.
CHEESE: I don’t normally use cheese on my Avocado Salsa Fresca Burger; but when I do, my choice is Queso Fresco, a soft, moist cheese made in Mexico.
STORING, REHEATING, AND LEFTOVERS
Salsa Fresca lasts 3-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. After that, the tomatoes begin to break down and become mushy.
Avocado turns brown pretty quickly once it’s exposed to the air. It still tastes good, but it doesn’t look good. Since avocados are plentiful and inexpensive, I make a fresh batch each time.
Instead of reheating burgers that will dry out and lose flavor, I make a large batch of raw patties and freeze them for later.
- Prepare the mixture and form the patties.
- Place patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about 3 hours.
- Stack patties with a parchment paper square between each one so that they don’t stick together. I like to portion them out into quart-sized Ziploc bags, and then store those in gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags.
- Frozen patties will last for up to 3 months.
- Thaw patties in the fridge, not at room temperature.
Avocado Salsa Fresca Burger from KharylsKulinaryKrusade.com
PREP TIME: 18 Minutes
COOK TIME: 12 Minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 8 Burgers (5oz patties)
- 8 hamburger buns
- 2 1/2 lbs ground beef (85/15 or 80/20)
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 4 medium avocados, peeled seeded & diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)
- juice of 2 limes
- 3 cups diced tomatoes, seeds removed (vine ripened or Roma works best)
- 3/4 cup diced white onion
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced small
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- juice of 1 lime
ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
- Queso Fresco cheese
- grilled or fresh jalapenos
- fresh cilantro
- In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, white onion, fresh cilantro, jalapeno, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a bowl. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside in the fridge.
- In a large bowl, combine diced avocado, 1 teaspoon salt, and juice of 2 limes. Set aside in fridge.
- Add ground beef to a large bowl, and crumble loosely. Add 2 teaspoons pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons each garlic powder & onion powder, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and combine. Sprinkle seasoning over meat. Add 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce.
- Measure out 5 oz portions of meat mixture, and roll into balls. Using the palm of your hand or a Burger Press to flatten into patties.
- Heat the grill or Grill Pan over medium-high heat. Spray lightly with Cooking Spray to prevent meat from sticking. Place patties on grill.
- COOKING TIME VARIES BASED ON PATTY SIZE AND YOUR DESIRED LEVEL OF DONENESS. For 5 oz patties, 1/2″ thick, I cook 5-6 minutes per side for medium.
- When burgers are done, transfer to serving platter and cover loosely with foil.
- Turn grill heat down, and place burger buns face down on the grill to warm slightly.
- Dress burgers to your preference, and enjoy!