Smoky, melty "pimentón" cheese, crispy jamón serrano, and a savory-sweet aioli top beef patties in this towering tapas-inspired burger from Urdaneta, a popular tapas spot in Portland, OR. Kalimotxo, a Spanish red wine and cola cocktail, is the inspiration for the marvelously mauve aioli.

decadent burger
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins


Kalimotxo Aioli

  • ½ cup cola soft drink (such as Coca-Cola)

  • ½ cup red wine (such as Tempranillo)

  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced jarred piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

  • ¼ teaspoon piment d'Espelette or smoked paprika

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Pimentó Cheese

  • 4 ounces yellow American cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred piquillo peppers, patted dry

  • ½ teaspoon pimentón dulce (sweet paprika)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest

Additional Ingredients

  • 4 thin (about 1/16-inch-thick) jamón serrano or prosciutto slices

  • 4 (6-ounce, 4 1/2-inch-wide) grass-fed ground beef patties

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon  black pepper

  • 4 (4-inch) potato hamburger buns, buttered and toasted

  • Shredded iceberg lettuce and pickles, for serving


Make the kalimotxo aioli

  1. Stir together cola, red wine, piquillo peppers, shallot, garlic, and piment d'Espelette in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a syrupy consistency and reduced to about 1/4 cup, 18 to 20 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely, about 45 minutes. Process cola mixture, mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, brown sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and chill until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Make the pimentón cheese

  1. Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Cover and chill.

Make the burgers

  1. Arrange jamón serrano in a single layer on a microwavable plate lined with paper towels. Cover with a paper towel. Microwave on HIGH until slightly crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. (Ham will crisp as it cools.)

  2. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F). Let hamburger patties stand at room temperature while grill is preheating. Shape pimentón cheese into 4 (3-inch) disks (about 1/4 cup each). Press a dimple into the center of each hamburger patty to prevent shrinking when cooking, and season evenly with salt and pepper. Place patties on oiled grates; grill, uncovered, until lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip patties, and top each with 1 pimentón cheese disk and 1 crispy jamón slice. Cook until burgers reach desired degree of doneness, 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare, covering grill during last minute of cook time to melt cheese.

  3. Spread about 1 tablespoon aioli on each bun half. Layer bottom buns with lettuce and burger patties; top with pickles, and cover with bun tops. Serve immediately.

Make ahead

Aioli can be made up to 3 days in advance; pimentón cheese can be made up to 5 days in advance. Refrigerate in airtight containers.


Find piquillo peppers, pimentón dulce, and jamón serrano at Spanish grocery stores or online at hotpaella.com.

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