Queso Flameado Burger

Callie Speer

Holy Roller, Austin

This burger from Callie Speer is part of our Blended Burger Project and includes fresh cremini mushrooms for an umami-packed bite. Callie adds a Mexican flair to the burger with elements like achiote paste, fried tortilla strips, and piquant escabeche.



  • 4 ounces carrots (about 2 medium carrots), peeled and shaved with vegetable peeler to create ribbons
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thin
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons achiote paste
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 ounces asadero cheese
  • 1/2 cup fried tortilla strips (or crushed tortilla chips)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced
  • Escabeche for garnish


Make the escabeche: place carrots, onions, and jalapeño in a non-reactive bowl. Bring vinegar, 1/4 cup water, sugar, and salt to boil. Pour hot liquid over carrot mixture; let cool then store in fridge. Escabeche will last 3 weeks in the fridge. Great on burgers, tacos, salads, and eggs, too!

Make the burgers: preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse mushrooms and garlic in a food processor; don’t purée, leave some texture.

In a small bowl, mix together salt, sugar, and spices. In a large bowl, mix ground beef with mushrooms and achiote paste. Sprinkle seasoning mix over beef and mushroom mixture; mix until just incorporated. Portion burger mixture into four 5-1/2 ounce patties.

Grease a large heavy skillet and set over medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the patties and cook to your favorite state of doneness, about 3 minutes per side for a medium-rare burger (it will continue cooking in the oven during the next step). Place cooked patties on one half of a sheet tray and sprinkle with asadero cheese. On the other half of sheet tray, place the burger buns. Transfer to the oven for 3 to 4 minutes to melt the cheese and toast the buns.

Assemble burger on toasted bun: layer sliced avocado, sliced tomato, escabeche, and tortilla strips on your burger and serve.


4 burgers