Photograph by Marcus Nilsson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Burger with Spiced Ketchup

Mains from Issue 3 – Spring / Summer 2013 – Rough Cut

It’s the kind of love story only Quentin Tarantino could dream up. When Alabama, the call girl with the syrupy Southern drawl, meets Elvis-obsessed Clarence, it’s love. After stealing a bag of cocaine from her pimp (Gary Oldman with a glass eye and dreads), the ’90s-era Bonnie and Clyde skip town. Besides being quintessential road fare, the burger—ours is extra bloody and doused with spicy ketchup—happens to be Clarence’s favorite meal.

serves 4

Spicy ketchup
  • 3-4 chile de árbol (or more!)
  • 4 chile guajillo
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 lb ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • a few good grinds black pepper
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 4 burger buns
  • accompaniments for burgers (like sliced pickled, red onion, and lettuce)

  • 1

    Ketchup: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Cook chilies until lightly toasted and fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes per side being careful not to burn. When cool enough to handle, discard stems and tear chilies into small pieces.

  • 2

    Cook onion, celery, and garlic, with oil in a medium saucepan until softened and translucent, 10-15 minutes. Stir in chilies (with seeds), tomatoes, 1 cup of water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

  • 3

    Working in batches, purée tomato mixture in a food processor or blender, then strain through a fine sieve into the cleaned saucepan. Add the vinegar and sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until ketchup consistency, about 2 hours. Cool completely. Season to taste.

  • 4

    Burgers: Heat grill to medium-high. Form burger patties each with a small indentation in the middle. Sprinkle each side generously with salt and pepper. Grill burgers about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium. Toast buns just until charred, about 30 seconds. Serve burgers with add-ons and plenty of Spicy Ketchup.