Recipes

The Concha Burger

Adrian Cruz

The Orchard Lounge, McAllen, TX

The Concha Burger, a winner of our 2016 Blended Burger Project™, features a shiitake, chorizo, and beef patty topped with homemade strawberry–fig jam, chipotle aïoli, pickled cucumbers, butter lettuce, bacon, tomato, and a fried egg.

Ingredients

Concha Buns:

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk 
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry–Fig Jam:

  • 1 cup fresh figs, diced
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 packet (20g) (strawberry-flavoured gelatin

Pickled Red Onions and Cucumbers: 

  • Juice of 2 limes, divided
  • Juice of 2 oranges, divided
  • 2 cups white vinegar, divided
  • 1 cup rice vinegar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced

Burgers:

  • 28 ounces ground beef sirloin
  • 8 ounces ground pork chorizo
  • 20 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch garlic powder

To serve:

  • 8 ounces strawberry–fig jam
  • 7 homemade concha buns
  • 8 ounces butter lettuce
  • 14 slices tomato
  • Pickled red onions
  • 14 slices smoked Gouda cheese
  • 28 slices housemade pickled cucumber
  • 14 slices applewood bacon
  • 7 fried eggs

Method

Make the concha buns: in a large bowl, stir together the yeast and 1/2 cup warm water. Mix in 2 cups flour, the evaporated milk, 3/8 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine, salt, and the egg. Gradually mix in another 2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter to knead as soon as it pulls together enough. Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, making sure to turn the dough to coat lightly in the oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Make the topping while the dough rises. In a medium bowl, beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1 stick butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining 2 cups flour until the mixture is the consistency of shortbread dough. Divide the mixture in half and place 1 half in a separate bowl. Mix a pinch of cinnamon into one half, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla into the other half.

When the dough is done rising, divide it into 12 even-sized pieces (about 90 grams each). Shape into balls and place on a parchment paper–lined cookie sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Divide each bowl of topping into 6 balls and pat them down so they’re flat discs. Lightly brush the top of the buns with water. Place the discs of toppings on top of the dough balls, patting down lightly so they adhere. Use a knife to cut grooves in the topping so that it resembles a clamshell. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the buns for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Make the strawberry–fig jam: mix together the figs, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and rice vinegar in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the strawberry gelatin and bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for 7 minutes. For a smoother jam, mash the preserves with a potato masher, if desired.

Sterilize the jars and lids in a big pot of boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the fig preserves into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4-inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top the jars with lids and screw on rings.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill the pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower the jars into the boiling water using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars so they are not touching. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring the water level to at least 1-inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (the lid will not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.

Make the pickled onions and cucumbers: in a saucepot, combine the juice of 1 lime, the juice of 1 orange, 1 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 3/4 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a small pinch of ground ginger over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the sliced red onions and cook until they wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to finish. In the same saucepot, repeat the process with the remaining juice from the other lime and orange, 1 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 3/4 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a small pinch of ground ginger. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl and add the sliced cucumbers. Set aside for 1 hour.

Make the patties: in a medium bowl, mix the ground sirloin and pork chorizo with garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. In a food processor, chop the shiitake mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are minced, add them to the ground meat mixture. Form into 8-ounce patties. Once your burgers are formed, refrigerate them for at least 1 hour to let the flavors combine.

Cook the burgers: heat a well-oiled cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties until they’re seared on 1 side, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat until seared on the other side, about 5 minutes. 

To serve: spread a thin layer of strawberry–fig jam onto each concha bun. Top each bun with butter lettuce, 2 slices tomato, pickled red onions, and 1 burger patty. Add 2 slices smoked Gouda cheese, 4 slices pickled cucumbers, 2 slices bacon, and 1 fried egg. Serve. 

Yield

7 burgers