Portuguese Steak Burger
The thing about a Portuguese dinner is the double starch. I’m talking about potato-chip cut potatoes deep-fried until they become scalloped French fries, if you will, sitting alongside a mound of fluffy white rice. Not risotto. No pilaf. Just perfectly cooked white rice so tender and singular that you could eat them one grain at a time. Onto this carb carnival they layer fried red bell pepper strips.
And then IT happens. A grilled New York strip steak is nestled next to the fries and rice. And when I say “grilled” I’m not talking about some restaurant kitchen shortcut with a skillet and some butter. This steak has never seen a sauté pan. It was grilled. With love. Over actual flames. And as if THAT’S not good enough, an off-the-bone slice of ham is seared and set on top the steak. Then a perfect over easy egg. Then a garlic and beer sauce flecked with minced parsley or cilantro.
I can’t match or top that tsunami of awesome. So I thought about making it into a burger. To wit:
I’d like to recreate the experience of local Portuguese Steak in a burger. To me, the ham and egg on top of the steak is the obvious reference. But jut as important is the roasted red pepper and garlic sauce. (As is the rice, but I’m guessing no one would want to order a burger with a side of rice.) Anyway, here’s my take on a Portuguese Steak burger.
Dress bottom bun with roasted red pepper aioli
Add one layer of fried potato chips (1/8” thick)
Grill an aggressively-peppered ground beef burger (1/4lb at least)
Sao Jorge cheese on top.
Slice of fried ham
Over easy egg
Dress top bun with roasted garlic spread
The nice thing about being a reporter is you get to explore for a living. When I moved to Rhode Island for my first real newspaper gig in 1995 I knew next to nothing about the state. With each assignment I learned something new. Some of those discoveries were delicious. Like this one.
One cornish hen, butterflied