Labor Day is a few days away, and whether you’re hosting a cookout or attending one, you must, absolutely must, include Richard Blais’s famous Cuban pork burgers from his restaurant Flip Burger Boutique. Lime and herb spiked pork patties are cooked to juicy perfection, placed on a toasted hamburger bun and topped with a slew of sweet, spicy, salty, creamy, crispy toppings including mayo, Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese, bacon, mojo sauce, pickles, orange zest, and fresh cilantro. They are staggeringly delicious.
Here’s what you need to do for your Labor Day cookout:
*Fast for a day before making these burgers. Otherwise, you’ll have to stop at one. And you won’t want to stop at one.
*Advise your guests to wear expandable elastic waistband shorts. They’ll thank you later.
*Makes lots of burgers and lots of margaritas. They’re made for each other.
*Light a candle in praise of Richard Blais and pork burgers.
Cuban Burger from Flip Burger Boutique
Yields 6 servings
For the patties:
2 pounds ground pork
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sage
1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Separate the meat into six 5 oz balls. Flatten the balls into a patty shape.
2. Heat up a gril, or large skillet with about a 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the bottom of the pan, and cook burgers about five minutes on each side until cooked through.
For the Mojo:
1/3 cup sour orange juice*
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoons parsely
1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro
2 teaspoons xanthan gum*
1. In a blender combine all ingredients and blend on medium speed. Add xanthan gum slowly until the liquid begins to thicken. Refrigerate until needed.
To build the burger: (yields 1 burger)
2 teaspoons Dijon
1 teaspoon mayo
1 sliced cornichon
1 1/2 tablespoon sliced pickles
1 slice Swiss cheese
1 slice cooked bacon, cut in half
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 hamburger bun
2 tablespoons mojo sauce (from above)
1 Cuban patty
1. Slice the bun in half and toast. On the bottom spread dijon mustard and mayo.
2. Melt the Swiss cheese over the top of the burger and top with bacon. Place burger with cheese and bacon on top of bottom bun with mayo and dijon.
3. In a mixing bowl place pickles and cornichons and toss with mojo sauce. Place on top of burger. Top the burger with the chopped cilantro and orange zest. Serve.
Shopping note: Sour orange juice can be found in specialty Mexican markets. I didn’t have any, so I used regular orange juice and added a couple of squirts of lime juice to it . Xantham gum is a food thickener. Bob’s Red Mill sells it as do many online food stores. I didn’t have any, so I dissolved about 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in some water water, and added it to the mojo sauce.