Dominican Chimichurri (burger) with Cabbage and Pink Sauce
Sorry it’s been so long since my last post – between our broken refrigerator and the Thanksgiving holiday, finding time to write has been difficult. But enough of my problems – let’s go to the Caribbean! Pictures of sandy beaches and clear blue water have me craving a tropical vacation, as our weather turns cold and rainy. The Dominican Republic is located occupies about two thirds of the Greater Antilles island of La Hispaniola, with Haiti occupying the rest of the island.
The Dominican economy is largely dependent on the US. According to CIA World Factbook, 60% of exports and 75% of the incoming tourism dollars in Dominica come from the US. Overall, the economy is relatively strong. Unfortunately, Dominica has really poor income inequality and 42% of its people live below poverty level.
The Dominican Republic was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus and was under Spanish rule for a really long time, then the Haitians ruled them for twenty-two years, then they went back to Spanish rule (voluntarily to get out from under Haitian rule) and, finally achieved independence in 1821. The culture is a rich mixture of Caribbean, French, Spanish and Portuguese influences.
Dominican food reflects this rich heritage with fabulous Creole sauces, garlic, peppers, cured meats, it’s all good. For our purposes, the most important thing is that Dominicans have a burger of their own. Its called Chimichurri – no relation to the Argentinean sauce, I’ve no idea why they have the same name and couldn’t find any reasonable explanation on-line. So, the Chimichurri varies a bit (of course), but the basics are beef patties seasoned with onions and other things, tomatoes, pink sauce and cooked cabbage. The pink sauce varies from simple ketchup and mayo mixtures to more complex seasonings. The cabbage is usually dressed in the pink sauce then sautéed.
I found the pink sauce tended toward a little too sweet and heavy, so I cut it a little with some lime juice and that made it a deeper, more interesting flavor. A lot of the recipes I found call for grilling the tomatoes, so I tried that the first time and I thought it dulled the flavor of the tomato. In the final version we have the lime juice in the sauce and the tomatoes are raw. Overall this was incredibly easy to make and the final burger was rich and tasty. It’s a recipe for a night when you’re in the mood for something a little heavier, richer and definitely a little indulgent. If you want another layer, add some grilled onion, or some potato chips, or a fried egg! Enjoy J
Dominican Republic Burger
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion diced (about ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pink Sauce (recipe below)
½ head of cabbage sliced thin
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 burger buns
Mix the first six ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide into four portions and form balls of the mixture. Let it sit for an hour and get to room temperature.
While this is sitting, mix ½ of the pink sauce with the sliced cabbage. Refrigerate the cabbage until ready to use. Heat a large skillet (don’t use non-stick) over medium high until hot. Add the meat balls and smoosh them down into patties. Cook to desired temperature then remove from skillet. Deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar then add the cabbage and cook covered for 3-5 minutes until just wilted (I like some crunch left in mine).
Toast your buns if you like, then place the burger patties on, add the tomato and the cooked cabbage, then top with some extra pink sauce. Serve while everything is warm.
⅓ cup plus 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ cup ketchup
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice of ½ lime
Salt to taste
In a glass bowl, combine all ingredients and adjust to taste. Refrigerate for at least a half hour before using and taste again after refrigerating – adjust again as necessary.
©Copyright 2011 Linda Monach