Jun 24, 2019

Chorizo Goat Cheese Burger with Tomato Chow Chow

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
I like this burger because it has a balance of spice from the chorizo, creaminess from the goat cheese, sweet from the tomato chow chow and acid from the pickled pepperoncini.

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This beef and chorizo patty is served on toasted hamburger buns with mayonnaise, spinach, goat cheese, pickled, sliced pepperoncini peppers and tomato chow chow.

This burger is based on a recipe from Issac’s Way in Fredericton, New Brunswick. One of the ways I get inspiration for my recipes is from my family. My dad travels to Canada for work quite a bit and on a recent trip he came back raving about a special burger he had experienced. Based on his description, I decided to try to come up with my own version. Sometimes it can be more fun to recreate something you’ve never tasted because you don’t have a comparison. I can take some of the similar flavors and make it my own.

Chorizo Goat Cheese Burger with Tomato Chow Chow

What is Chow Chow:

Chow Chow is a chunky relish made from green tomato, cabbage, onion and pepper. The green tomatoes give the condiment a tomatillo-like flavor. I like this burger because it has a balance of spice from the chorizo, creaminess from the goat cheese, sweet from the tomato chow chow and acid from the pickled pepperoncini. It hits all the high notes in a single bite.

Ingredients in Chow Chow

  • Green tomato
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Pepper
chorizo goat cheese burger with tomato chow chow recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Green tomato – Green tomatoes are actually unripe tomatoes! They are picked early and are much more firm and dense than ripe tomatoes and have a tangy flavor. Sometimes they are picked before they ripen, but many are ones that did not ripen by the end of the season. Green tomatoes have a slightly tart, acidic flavor. Their firm, almost crisp texture is often compared to green apples. 
  • Chorizo –  This recipe uses Mexican chorizo, fresh pork sausage made from pork and spices. It’s made from a combination of fatty pork and sometimes additional parts of the animal as well (especially in many common commercial brands). It’s used to add a spicy and unique flavor to the burger.
  • Ground beef – I use a blend of 80% lean/ 20% fat ground beef. Carefully blend the mixture using your hands as not to over-mix the meat.
  • Goat cheese – Also known as chèvre, is a creamy, mild cheese made from goat’s milk. This cheese has a tart, tangy flavor and actually has many different varieties. 
chorizo goat cheese burger with tomato chow chow recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

How to Make Chorizo Goat Cheese Burgers with Tomato Chow Chow

For the burger:

  1. Make the burger patties. In a medium mixing bowl gently combine the ground beef and chorizo using your hands. Divide the mixture into 4 equal patties and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil and heat through.
  2. Cook the burgers. Add two of the patties to the pan and cook until the burgers are golden brown and slightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook for an additional 4 minutes for medium-rare. Repeat with the remaining oil and burger patties.

For the tomato chow chow:

  1. Cook the chow chow. In a medium saucepan bring the apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of water to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato, cabbage, onion and pepper to the mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  2. Let cool and store. Transfer the mixture to clean mason jars and store sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For serving:

  1. Assemble burgers. Toss spinach in olive oil to lightly coat and set aside. Spread mayonnaise on each bottom half of burger buns then top with spinach followed by the chorizo burger patties.
  2. Serve. Top with the goat cheese, a scoop of the tomato chow chow and pepperoncini then close the bun and serve immediately.
Chorizo Goat Cheese Burger with Tomato Chow Chow-21.jpg

Tips and Tricks for The Perfect Burger

  • Always shape your burger patties 25% larger than you will need them for the size of the buns – as they cook the patties will shrink up! This way you have the perfect burger to bun ratio. 
  • Keep the meat cold when you are working with it. This is to ensure the meat isn’t overworked while shaping the patties. 
  • Press an indent into the center of the patty. This helps the burgers to cook evenly as the meat shrinks as it cooks.
  • Don’t press down on your burger as it grills! It squeezes out the juices. You don’t want to end up with a dry burger. 

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Chorizo Goat Cheese Burger with Tomato Chow Chow

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the burger:

  • 1 pound (80/20) ground beef
  • 1/3 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

For the tomato chow chow:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 cups diced green tomato
  • 1 cup diced green cabbage
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper

For serving:

  • 1 packed cup baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 Brioche hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup pickled sliced pepperoncini peppers

Instructions:

For the burger:

  • In a medium mixing bowl gently combine the ground beef and chorizo using your hands. Divide the mixture into 4 equal patties and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil and heat through.
  • Add two of the patties to the pan and cook until the burgers are golden brown and slightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook for an additional 4 minutes for medium-rare. Repeat with the remaining oil and burger patties.

For the tomato chow chow:

  • In a medium saucepan bring the apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of water to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato, cabbage, onion and pepper to the mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Transfer the mixture to clean mason jars and store sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For serving:

  • Toss spinach in olive oil to lightly coat and set aside. Spread mayonnaise on each bottom half of burger buns then top with spinach followed by the chorizo burger patties.
  • Top with the goat cheese, a scoop of the tomato chow chow and pepperoncini then close the bun and serve immediately.

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