Wine Varietal: Merlot
These burgers were inspired by some of my favorite ingredients, seasonings and flavors from Italy and the Mediterranean region.Made with fresh, quality ingredients, these burgers serve up bright, rustic, fresh herbaceous flavors layered with a crunchy fruited slaw, and capped with crisped Parmigiano cheese and smoky sopressata. Serve these with napkins and a smile!
Rosemary Fennel Mustard:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons ground toasted fennel seed
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot wine
2 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Fruity Fennel-Celery Root Slaw:
3 tablespoons lemon olive oil
2 tablespoons peach balsamic vinegar (if unavailable, substitute white balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 cups thinly sliced trimmed and cored fresh fennel
2 cups julienned peeled celery root
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
12 slices sopressata
6 bakery Vienna burger rolls, split (egg-wash-glazed rolls, with a slightly crisped crust and a soft, tender interior)
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the mustard, in a small bowl, mix together mustard, rosemary and fennel seed. Set aside.
To make the patties, soak mushrooms in wine in a small bowl for 25 to 30 minutes until mushrooms are softened. Strain mushrooms and wine through a coffee filter placed in a hand strainer over a small bowl. Remove strained mushrooms, squeeze out excess wine into filter and dice mushrooms. Reserve strained wine.
Spread the chuck out in a large shallow pan. Sprinkle evenly with mushrooms, strained wine, shallots, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible, evenly mix all ingredients into meat. Shape into 6 equal patties sized to fit the rolls. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate patties until ready to grill.
To make the slaw, in a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice and pepper. Mix in the fennel, celery root and red onion. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
To make the Parmigiano crisps, place 6 equal portions of cheese in a large fire-proof skillet, working in batches if necessary, and spread the cheese out sized to fit the patties. Sprinkle portions evenly with smoked paprika and pepper. Place pan on grill rack, or on side burner over medium-high heat, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly golden. Remove pan from heat, cool slightly and, when firm enough to handle, remove cheese crisps with a spatula to a rack to cool completely.
To cook the sopressata, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place slices on grill rack and cook, turning once, about 1 to 2 minutes per side until lightly browned and edges are slightly crisped. Remove sopressata from grill, wrap in foil and keep warm. Scrape down and burn off grill as necessary.
To cook the patties, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until nicely charred and done to preference, about 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble burgers, spread cuts sides of rolls evenly with mustard. Top each roll bottom evenly with slaw, and then a patty, 2 slices of sopressata and a Parmigiano crisp. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.