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Cuban Babalou Burgers

This burger combines the best of Cuban cooking, with a little wine and lots of the most important ingredient- love. It is a take-off on Vaca Frita and named after Ricky Ricardo's song from "I Love Lucy". Although I am not Cuban, I have grown up in Miami so feel I should be designated an honorary Cuban. Salud!


2 TBLS of Colavita olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
2 large bay leaves
1 TBL tomato paste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup steak sauce
2 TBLS of fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced into 6 slices
1 loaf Cuban Bread
4 ounces of Chirizo
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1 1/2 tsps adobo seasoning
1 3/4 ounce can of shoestring potoatoes, divided into 6 portions.


Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium high. Sofrito with wine Place a 10" fireproof skillet on the grill over the heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add pepper, onion and garlic and cook until softened but not browned, around 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon to oil mixture and throw in 2 large bay leaves. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, around 10 minutes. Remove skillet from grill. Remove bay leaves and cool. Spread To make the spread, combine mayo and chimichurri with lime juice until blended. Set aside. Slice tomatoes into 6 thick slices. Place on paper towels to drain moisture. Slice Cuban bread into 6 equal portions. Slice in half. Place chirizo in food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until finely ground. Patties To make patties combine the chirizo, ground sirloin, adobo seasoning and wine mixture together. Mix the ingredients together, using a lot hand. Do not handle the meat too much. Divide the mixture into 6 equal, rectangular shaped portions. Lightly brush the grill with more olive oil. Place the patties on the rack over heat. Cover and cook, turning once, to desired doneness, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. During the final minutes of grilling, place the bread, cut side down on the outer edges of the grill to toast. Remove patties and bread. To assemble Brush both sides of cut bread with topping. Place a tomato slice on the bottom, the patty on top of the tomato and sprinkle shoestring potatoes over the patty. Top with other half of bread and enjoy!


Salud! Good with more cabernet sauvignon.