NFL "tailgate": South American Burgers

Our Purdue football Big Ten tailgating is well documented here, but we do hunker down on Sundays (and Monday nights) to watch the Colts, the NFL Red Zone and just like college football:  all the games we can.  We've never attended a tailgate for an NFL game.  We've been to exactly two Colts games together and the last one we needed a sherpa to get to our seats for the Colts-Jaquars playoff game in 2010 (right, Sara?).  If you toss tickets our way, we'll happily go and I'd love to see what NFL tailgating in Indy looks like.  But in the meantime, we are happy to make chili or grill burgers and eat at our bar surrounded by our nice televisions and free drinks.  When the weather is good (and sometimes even when it's not) we've been known to take it all outside and watch on Bob and Tammy's outdoor television with their fire pit, patio heater, falling acorns and Luckie dog begging us to toss her slobbery tennis ball.  Our kind of tailgating.

Here's a quick recipe idea from MNF last week when our meal was way better than Colts football.  That lovely Sunday we lingered in Harbor Country, Michigan with Lance and Dawn we made a victory lap to the Round Barn winery/brewery/distillery and found them grilling lunch outside on a perfect fall day.  They were serving up the usual suspects from the grill plus South American burgers:  beef and pork chorizo patties with queso fresco and pico de gallo.  How good does that sound?  Really good.  We didn't eat at the Round Barn, we headed into Sawyer and had the crazy good beef brisket sandwiches and etc. at the Green Bush Brewery.  Told you it was a good day.

This is super easy, so get to the meat counter and gather up what you need to get your grill on before the big game Sunday.  Tip:  Chorizo can be cured or fresh, you need the fresh soft kind so you can mix it with the beef.   Whole Foods sells both kinds.  Cured is prepacked.  Fresh is either in bulk or casings that you can easily squeeze to us in this recipe.  I often buy fresh sausages in casings if they are the variety I need and no bulk is available.  Whole foods and local butchers will also make you bulk if you ask nicely.  Butchers are nice people to get to know.  Greg swears this is easier if you are wearing a tennis skirt or yoga leggings and he may be right.

South American Burgers

one pound grass fed ground beef
one pound bulk or in casings pork chorizo
kosher salt


queso fresco or any other cheese you like:  chipotle cheddar, white cheddar, monterey jack, provolone
pico de gallo (small diced onion, jalapeno, tomato plus minced cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice with salt)
avocado slices or fresh guacamole
toasted whole grain sandwich buns
romaine leaves
sliced onion and tomato

In a medium bowl get your best mixing tools ready (clean hands) and smoosh together the ground beef, chorizo and maybe 1/2 tsp kosher salt until well-combined.  Form into patties (you should get 8 nice sized patties out of two pounds of meat).  Grill until cooked through (about 5 minutes per side or so, you'll know when the burgers are fairly firm when lightly pressed-do not squeeze out all the juices).  Top with cheese and grill another minute to melt.  Serve on a toasted bun with pico, avocado/guacamole, lettuce, onion and tomato as desired.


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