Pastor Burger Recipe from Mexico City

Sometimes, cool things fall into my lap, like this recipe for the Pastor Burger, recently featured at the 2015 Amstel Light Burger Bash.

The idea was inspired by Mexico City’s Street Food, together with the chef from “La Unica” Restaurant, David Hernandez. We developed a hamburger that embodies the aromas, colors, and fun of Mexico´s Street Food.

Chef Edgar Kano, the Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico Season explains

The recipe is for someone with an advanced skill set in the kitchen. It looks and sounds excellent, which is reason enough to try.

Pastor Burger from the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City
Pastor Burger from the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City

Habanero Marinated Red Onion

Yields 4 portions

  • 3 tbsp julienned red medium onion
  • 2 tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • One juice from key lime
  • oregano, dry to taste
  • Four jamaica (hibiscus flower, dry)
  • .25 tsp orange habanero chili


  1. Rinse the hibiscus flower in purified water and boil with as little water as possible.
  2. Strain and save liquid. Cool down.
  3. Remove the seeds from the habanero chilies, puree, or blend with some vinegar. Save.
  4. Mix vinegar, hibiscus liquid, chili paste, oregano, and red onion. Marinate for 24 hours.
  5. Add key lime juice to balance acidity. Season with salt and pepper.

Morita Chili Aioli

Yields 4 portions

  • One dry Morita chili or two if you like it spicy
  • .5 garlic clove
  • One tsp white onion
  • 2 tbsp Roma tomato
  • One key lime
  • One tbsp McCormick mayonnaise


  1. Char the Morita chili, and boil with a bit of water. Save.
  2. In a Salamander (or Oven on Broil), Char the tomato, onion and garlic. Blend until smooth.
  3. Reduce until a light paste is formed. Cool down.
  4. Incorporate into the mayonnaise.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

Cilantro-Avocado Purée

Yields 4 portions

  • 0.5 cup of cilantro
  • 0.5 ea or one ea if you like it spicy with fresh serrano chile
  • 3 Tbsp avocado
  • One tomatillo
  • .5 key lime
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper crushed to taste


  1. Place the serrano chili, tomatillo, and lime juice in the blender. Puree.
  2. Add the cilantro and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the avocado and blend to acquire a light paste consistency.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Pastor Marinade

Yields 4 portions

  • One oz “El Yucateco” brand axiote paste
  • .5 cups of orange juice
  • One tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • .5 garlic clove
  • oregano, dry to taste
  • Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Save.


Yields 4 portions

  • One lb. ground Angus rib eye
  • .5 lb. ground pork shoulder
  • .25 lb. applewood smoked bacon
  • One minced garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp fine chopped parsley
  • kosher salt to taste
  • crushed black pepper to taste


  1. Sweat the bacon to render some of the fat. Cool down. Save.
  2. Mix all the ingredients. Cook a test to determine proper seasoning.
  3. Make 4 oz patties and form them in a 2.5-inch ring.
  4. Brush the patty with oil and season with salt.
  5. Sear on a grill on both sides, apply pastor marinade, and cool down on sheet pans.

Also Needed

  • Four Sourdough Buns, three inches in diameter
  • Four slices of Hawaiian Pineapple (sliced thin)

Now, all you need to do is assemble!

*Special thanks to Chef Edgar Kano & the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City for allowing me to print this recipe.

Whip up this Pastor Burger recipe with onion, key lime, oregano, and habanero chili for the advanced cook from the 2015 Amstel Light Burger Bash.

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