This Burger Recipe Calls for Just the Right Amount of Bacon (and Homemade Guac)
You can thank chef Pete Mrabe from Dos Pistos, North Beach’s favorite Mexican spot
At Don Pistos, Chef Pete Mrabe puts his experience in Baja on the menu, with a selection of street food specialties and a buzzy atmosphere in the heart of North Beach. But while the menu is replete with everything from raw bar offerings to carne asada, a major fan favorite is undoubtedly the hamburguesa, a deeply flavorful char-grilled patty topped with a heaping helping of the house guacamole.
Seasoned with finely chopped white onion, cilantro and serrano, this guac perfectly marries smooth and slightly chunky textures, making it the ideal burger topping. And of course, it’s best made fresh — a must not only for color and flavor, but also for temperature.
“We make the guacamole every two hours,” says Mrabe. “We don’t like topping the burger with cold guacamole, and making it fresh multiple times a night is showcased in the hamburguesa when finished.”
Do the same at home by focusing first on the burger — which, guacamole aside, is still worth writing home about. It begins the day before, when top-quality, high-fat ground beef is combined with crispy bacon, sautéed onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Left to marinate overnight, Mrabe explains, “the beef absorbs the smokiness of the bacon and onion flavor.”
The next day, simply make the guac, and then form the meat mixture into five-ounce patties. Grilled until medium rare, the burgers and guac are piled on buttered and grilled Acme buns, a local choice Mrabe swears by for the perfect bite.
“I like that Acme buns hold up to the moisture of the burger and guacamole but still have that burger bun softness and texture,” he says.
For the burger
- 1½ lbs high-quality ground beef, preferably higher in fat content
- 4 slices of raw bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- ½ white onion, diced
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 4 Acme burger buns
- Butter, as needed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the guacamole
- 1 avocado
- ½ serrano chili, chopped finely
- ¼ cup white onion, finely diced
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- Salt to taste
- In a 6-inch pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain off the extra fat and reserve. Sautée the white onions in bacon fat until tender.
- Combine the ground beef, bacon, onions, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
- Mix all of the guacamole ingredients together in a small bowl. Chill until ready to use.
- Form the beef mix into five-ounce patties. Grill to medium rare. While the burger patties are cooking, slather the bun with butter and lightly grill.
- Remove the patties, place on a bun and top with a dollop of guacamole.
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