Chorizo Paprika Lime Burgers… KING’S SPEECH STYLE.

By Tim Wu on March 4, 2011 in Blog
Okay fine, these burgers have absolutely nothing to do with the King’s Speech. But I did make them at an Oscar potluck where the King’s Speech won everything ever. Who knows, maybe these burgers will inspire you to be friends with Geoffrey Rush as well.

At the potluck I made these as sliders because miniature versions of the things, I think goes without saying, ARE THE BEST. This recipe though is written for regular sized burgers. The recipe’s still the same if you want to make them as sliders for your next King’s Speech and/or Tron: Legacy potluck, just get Martin’s Mini Potato Rolls instead of their Sandwich Rolls. THEY’RE ADORABLE.

Anyway, here’s the ingredient list:

1 lb. – Ground Beef, 85% Lean

1 slice – Bacon

1 link – Chorizo

1 – Medium Red Onion

1 – Lime

1 tsp – Paprika

1 – Clove of Garlic

1 – Box of Frozen Spinach
1 – Red Pepper Flakes

Slices of Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese

Martin’s Potato Sandwich Rolls

This recipe makes 3 decently sized burgers, or 2 hefty burgers, or 12 sliders, or 1 GIANT BURGER. Whatever floats your boat.


Truth fact, 80/20 is the ideal ratio of meat to fat for burgers, but it’s also crazy expensive for some reason. A lot of time, 80% lean ground beef can be almost twice is expensive at 85% ground beef. AND THAT’S BLASPHEMY I SAY, especially when we can just add in that 5% ourselves.


 Take your slice of bacon, and cut into thin strips.

Then cut it into little pieces. You want to get as small a dice as possible so that when we cook these burgers, the bacon just melts, keeping our burger juicy and adding a hint of smoky deliciousness.

You’ll see a lot of burger recipes calling for breadcrumbs and eggs and milk and all sorts of stuff, PFFT. All that’s just filler ingredients for shitty beef. The classic American hamburger is about MEAT, A BIG DISC OF MEAT, and in this case, MEAT WITH MORE MEAT FOLDED INTO IT.

Here’s all we’re adding to our burgers. The paprika, salt, the juice from half a lime, and our minced uncooked bacon.

 Fold these ingredients into your ground beef, making sure to disperse the bacon evenly. 

And form into patties. You can make these up to a day in advance, just wrap each patty with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. But take them out at least half an hour before you plan on cooking them to get them back to room temperature. If you were to throw an ice cold patty onto a hot pan, the outside would burn before the inside of the patty were done, AND THAT SUCKS.

I often get asked about how caramelize onions, so, QUICK SIDEBAR. Caramelized onions are one of the most versatile ingredients out there. You can put ‘em on anything and it automatically becomes fancy. Scrambled eggs? PFFT. Scrambled eggs topped with caramelized red onions? UH, WINNING.

Start by cutting off the top and bottom of your onion. You don’t have to cut off too much, just enough to give the onion a flat surface. Don’t want to waste any of that onion right? After all, I work in the film/tv industry, I even find onions expensive… AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH tear. 

Cut the onion straight down the middle.

And peel away the outer paper.

Then cut out a V where the leaves of the onion come together at the root. This will separate all the leaves.

 Then make radial cuts inwards towards the center of the onion, like the spokes of a wheel.  

 You want to make these cuts relatively thin, about a 1/8 of an inch.

Separate the onions a bit with your hands by tossing them around, just so they’re not all clumped together. 

In a small saucepan, melt half a tablespoon of butter with a teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.

When the butter melts and begins to bubble, add your onions and a teaspoon of salt. Toss them around to get them coated in the oil, and then just let it sit over medium low heat. We want to coax the sugars out the onion and have them brown, so refrain from constantly stirring them.  

Just come back every couple minutes and flip them around.  
And before you know it, CARAMELIZED ONIONS. With a larger pan, you can cook onions like this in batches and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week. Now you can always have these on hand to make things fancy. PUT ‘EM ON A DOLLAR SLICE.

Now when it comes to spinach, I’m a huge fan of boxed frozen spinach. It’s cheap, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than buying fresh spinach and cooking it. To prepare frozen spinach, just take it out of the box, sprinkle on a tablespoon of water, a teaspoon of salt, and microwave, covered, for around 6 minutes. Then drain any excess moisture.

LET’S MAKE RED PEPPER GARLIC OIL. When it comes to garlic, buy fresh garlic. Avoid that pre-minced stuff that’s sits festering in sad oil in screw-top jars. IT’S THE WORST and tastes of shredded dreams. 

 To peel fresh garlic, just cut off the root end.

 And take the back of your knife and smash it.

  The paper should easily come off now. If not, SMASH IT SOME MORE. 

 Then mince it fine.

 In a small saucepan, add your oil and garlic to ROOM TEMPERATURE PAN. If you add garlic to a piping hot pan with piping hot oil, it’ll burn, and burnt garlic tastes like the DEVIL, the M.Night Shyamalan version. 

 When making flavored oils, the key thing is to bring your oil up to temperature along with all the other ingredients. So add your garlic, about a tablespoon of oil, and red pepper flakes and heat gently over medium high heat.

 After a minute or so, your kitchen should smell like awesome. And the color of the oil should start to turn deep orange.  

 Then add your spinach and toss to coat. Remember the spinach is already cooked, so all we’re doing is heating it back up.



Remember, bring your burger to room temperature before cooking. In a small saucepan, heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat. 

 Sprinkle both sides of your burger with salt, and when the oil is hot, place your burger in the pan. There should be a satisfying sizzle. If your burger touches the pan and it just splutters sadly and uneventfully, your pan’s too cold. UNDO, and wait for the oil to get hotter. 

 Cover your pan, and let cook for 3.5 minutes over medium heat. Don’t go poking or prodding at it, just let it be for 3.5 minutes.

 The top of the burger should be a meatball-like grey. 

 FLIP. There should be a nice golden crust. Of course, all ranges and pans carry heat differently, so the turn the heat up or down or cook for longer or shorter accordingly. Let cook for 3 minutes on the other side, uncovered this time.

 After 3 minutes, turn off the heat. While the burger’s resting, we can dress it. Layer on your sliced chorizo. 

 The caramelized onions.
And the pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese. 

Cover, and let melt.

 Toast your potato bun, and lay a bed of the sautéed spinach on the bottom. Then top with your burger. 

 And feed it to your roommate so you don’t feel as bad using his Netflix Instant account.



“This burger made me sad when it was over.”


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