My mother used to mix half veal and half beef, when making hamburgers, meatloaf or meatballs. It works out well, but it is not necessary. She used to serve these hamburgers with the traditional American trimmings: sliced onions, tomatoes, fresh lettuce, ketchup and mustard.
But when I was reminiscing with my friend Andrea about these Mexicanized American dishes, she suggested we try a citrusy mayo spread. What a surprise! That tangy spread makes these tasty hamburgers bounce off the walls out of happiness...
I wouldn't dare call this hamburger traditional Mexican food, although the recipe has been in my family for more than four decades. When you think about it, once an ingredient or a dish of a country enters another country and becomes accepted, it gains a life of its own.
I don't think there ever is a right or wrong take in the kitchen (Diana Kennedy may just be aiming at me with a riffle now... ). It seems to me that it is all fair games as long as you get to know your ingredients and how to use them. And of course...there has to be a worthwhile and delicious result.
ANCHO CHILE MEXICAN HAMBURGERS WITH LIME AIOLI
Hamburguesas con Chile Ancho y Aioli de Limon
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 lbs ground veal
1 1/2 cup white onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
4 ancho chiles, rinsed, seeded and soaked (explanation follows)
1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Safflower or corn oil
1 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tbsp
1 tsp grate lime rind
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 hamburger buns
2 red tomatoes, sliced
8 iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
1/2 white onion, sliced
Rinse the ancho chiles. On a chopping board, make a slit down their side and take out all of their seeds, veins and stems. Place the cleaned chiles in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup boiling hot water. Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Places chiles in the blender along with the soaking liquid, onion and garlic, and puree until smooth.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and veal. Add the chile mixture, two lightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Mix until it is all well incorporated.
Heat the griddle or pan over medium heat until very hot, about 6 to 8 minutes. Brush some oil on the girddle or pan.
With your hands, mold the patties and place them on the hot griddle or pan. Cook for about 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on how well cooked you like your burgers. I like them medium-well, so it is about 5 minutes per side for me.
Place the garnishes on the table so that everyone can choose to their liking.
To make the lime aioli, place everything in a mixing bowl, and just mix it all up!
If you want to make this hamburger into a cheeseburger, Monterey jack is a great companion. Just place a slice of cheese on to the burger once you flipped it and let it melt as it finishes cooking.