Wine Varietal: White Merlot
America was built by immigrants of many cultures. I was born and raised in the melting pot of the world, New York, raised by a village of first, second, and third generation Italians. Food was our passion, our link between heaven and earth; it meant celebrations, tradition, and family.
Later on in life I moved to the land of plenty, Las Vegas, where I met my husband and later blessed to have Triplet daughters (real plenty). There is an ongoing belief among the transplants, now locals, that no one was born here in Vegas, and it is a transient town, with this as a consideration, Las Vegas has not just one cultural category of food to represent it’s fair city, on the contrary it has several. Las Vegas is the melting pot of America, and over the last 15 years I’ve watched our beautiful city come to rival others in Dining, Culture and Entertainment. We now specialize in all cuisines.
In keeping with my blessed roots I have taken my favorite tastes and legacy of knowledge and created a Gourmet burger that honors not only my departed loved ones, but also honors what our country was built on, tradition and diversity. When my Grandmother Julia was pleased with the taste of her meal preparation she would say, with a cheeky grin, “Per le anime dei miei cari morti, for the souls of my dead loved ones”. She taught me everything I know. Give me your hungry, and I will feed them, now that’s American – Julia Renfro
32oz. Ground beef – 20% Fat 14 Small Spanish olives, rinsed and chopped
2 hds Garlic shelled 8 tbs Extra virgin olive oil 3 Red bell peppers
1 tbs Butter
3 Shallots, chopped medium
4 Crimini mushrooms, chopped medium
Salt and pepper to taste
12-1oz. Pancetta slices
1 c Balsamic vinegar
1/2 c Sutter home Cabernet sauvignon
8 oz. Fontina cheese, sliced
6 Herb and cheese crusted rolls
3/4 c Baby arugula, rinsed and dried
6 tbs Pepperoncini, sliced rings
1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive oil
6 clvs Garlic, Chopped
20 oz 2 bags of baby spinach
10 oz jar Prepared Alfredo sauce
1 tsp Red chili flakes
1. Set up your gas grill with two side by side burners on for direct grilling and leave the third burner off indirect grilling and preheat to medium high 400 degrees (with your hand 4 inches from grate you should only be able to hold it there for a count of 3-4 Mississippi).
2. Prep all your ingredients: Rinse and rough chop olives combine with meat in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Chop 6 cloves of garlic set aside in monkey dish for Florentine topping. With knife smash to de-shell 2 heads of garlic set aside in monkey dish. Chop shallots and set aside in monkey dish. Rinse and chop Crimini mushrooms and set aside in monkey dish. Slice pepperoncini rings and set aside in monkey dish. Place vinegar and wine in small saucepan, and set aside. Slice Fontina cheese and set aside. Place 2 tbs of oil for grill in monkey dish and set aside. Place 4 tbs of oil in monkey dish for buns.
3. Rinse dry and brush peppers with 1 tbs of olive oil. Place all peppers on grate and grill until skins are charred on all sides (peppers should be tender) turning with tongs, 6-10 minutes. Place hot peppers in glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
4. Meanwhile heat 1tbs butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in medium skillet on the grill, add the two smashed shelled garlic heads and roast in pan till slightly browned. Then add chopped shallots and cook till caramelized, add mushrooms and cook till tender. Remove from grill drain excess oils and cool slightly. Roughly chop and combine with meat, add salt and pepper to taste and mix well throughout. Wet your hands with cold water and divide into 6 equal portions. Pat each portion into a patty. Place patty’s on 6 wax paper squares on plate (the wax paper makes it easier to handle the meat without compromising the shape).
5. When peppers have cooled enough to handle, slice pepper in half to remove stem and seed bulb. Peel skin off the meat, and set aside.
6. When ready to cook brush oil on the grill. Grill the pancetta until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain, set aside.
7. Meanwhile place small sauce pan of vinegar and wine on grill, and bring to steady simmer; reduce by half to 3/4 cups. Set aside off heat for basting burgers.
8. Clean grill. Brush insides of buns with 4 tbs of oil and toast on grill watching carefully not to burn. Set aside.
9. Clean grill, when ready to cook brush oil on the grill. Place burgers on the hot grate. Basting burgers with vinegar/ wine reduction, grill the burgers until cooked through, 4-7 minutes per side for well. The internal temperature should read 170 degrees for well (due to the pork content). After you’ve turned the burgers (prior to being done and removing burgers from grill), place two slices of pancetta first and cheese second on top of each burger. To test for doneness, insert an instant-read meat thermometer through the side of the burger into the center.
10. Meanwhile, place large sauté pan on grill, heat 1tbs oil, add garlic cook till slightly browned, then add spinach till wilted, and slightly cooked, while still holding its rich dark green color. Now add 1 jar of Alfredo sauce and simmer for 3 minutes, mix in red chili flakes. Put on indirect heat while grilling burgers.
11. Assemble the burgers: On the bottom half of each bun place a 1/4 cup baby arugula followed by a half roasted pepper folded in half with 1 tablespoon of pepperoncini concealed in fold. Top with the burger (cheese facing up), and the top half of the bun. Place 4 wood skewers at 2, 4, 8, 10 o’clock a little towards center, cut in half, place on serving platter cut side up. With tongs add Florentine spinach to cut side of burger patty only, with small spoon drizzle some sauce over spinach.