The Hijo de la Gran Frita recipe below has been served at some of the pop-ups for my Burger Beast Burger Joint.
You may want to read my Everything You Need To Know About The Frita Cubana if you’re not familiar with it.
And if you’re looking for a more thorough history of the Frita Cubana then get a copy of my book All About the Burger.
This is in no way a replacement for hitting up your favorite Frita restaurants but trust me, this recipe will come in clutch eventually.
You should read about how I cook my burgers on an outdoor griddle.
EL HIJO DE LA GRAN FRITA RECIPE
- 1 pound of 80/20 chuck
- 3 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika aka pimenton
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon Crystal hot sauce
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 1 cup of cooking oil, or as needed
- Ideally 5 Cuban bread rolls, but French bread rolls or regular soft, squishy hamburger rolls (Martin’s Potato Rolls are excellent too) will do
- Shred the two potatoes on a cheese grater, then rinse them thoroughly until the water is clear.
- Drain and squeeze dry on paper towels. To get them really crispy, you need to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Add the cooking oil to a non-stick pan and heat to medium-high. Add the potatoes and let them cook until they are crispy.
- Let the potatoes dry on paper towels and season with salt according to your taste.
- Getting the julienne potatoes right is the most difficult part of the recipe, but there’s a little cheat. Go to your local grocer and purchase Ore-Ida “Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes” instead. I recently started using Chifles Plantain Sticks too.
- Mix the smoked Spanish paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and Crystal hot sauce into the ground chuck.
- Make five equally sized balls of seasoned meat.
- Take one of the Frita-seasoned balls of beef, and using a thick spatula, smash onto a cast-iron skillet on a burner at medium-high heat.
- Grab a respectable large pinch of diced onions and place on the smashed patty.
- Add salt as you would to any burger that you’re cooking.
- After cooking for approximately forty-five seconds to a minute, flip the Frita onto the onion side to finish.
- Place the bottom bun on the Frita while it’s finishing and let it warm a little bit. (1)
- Slide the spatula under the deliciousness and flip it so that the bottom bun is resting on your hand with the Frita and onions on top.
- At this point, you can choose to add some raw diced onions and maybe a little dash of ketchup to bring out the flavor of the patty and the julienne potatoes.
- All that’s left to do is add the top bun, and you’re good to go!
 You can toast the buns lightly beforehand if you have the time or as a matter of preference.