RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Italian Beer Burgers

This recipe is inspired by the 1940’s and 1950’s old Italian Beer and Peanut weddings from Little Italy in Chicago. Being a third generation Italian-American, the traditions run strong in our family recipes. The Beer and Peanut weddings brought together the flavors of tomato sauce and beer, which I have captured in this uniquely flavored burger. Enjoy, close your eyes, and visit Little Italy with me !

Ingredients 

1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck
1/2 pound of bulk hot or mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup of Italian-style dired bread crumbs
2 large eggs
3 large cloves garlic, minced
Extra Light Olive Oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 large sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
2 bottles (12 oz each) beer
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
salt
black pepper, ground
6 Foccacia-style rolls, split

Instructions 

Prepare medium-hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to medium-high.

To make burger patties, combine ground chuck, 1/4 pound (half) of the Italian sausage, Pecorino Romano cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, and garlic. Divide evenly to make 12 servings, rolling each “meatball-style” between palms to create uniform balls, then flatten slightly to form patties about the size of the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make sauce, use large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat to preheat 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Sauté onions and red peppers until just starting to caramelize, remove from skillet and set aside. In same skillet, sauté remaining half of Italian sausage until thoroughly cooked and no pink remains. Remove sausage from skillet and reserve for different recipe, as this will not be added back into the sauce. Pour one bottle of beer into skillet to de-glaze the pan. Add in tomato paste, 2nd bottle of beer, brown sugar, then salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes, sauce will reduce by about 1/3. Remove from heat and let cool in pan while cooking burgers.

When grill is ready, brush with olive oil and cook patties about 4 minutes each side until cooked through and no pink is remaining. During last 2 minutes of cooking, lightly toast foccacia rolls on outer edge of grilling surface.

To assemble, place one patty on bottom of each grilled foccacia roll, top with generous 2 Tbsp of sauce, add second patty, lastly top with some of the onions and peppers. Add top of roll and serve.

Comments 

Sauce with onions and peppers can be made a day ahead of time and kept tightly covered in the refrigerator. This recipe is super easy and the sauce is incredibly delicious. We have found that the reserved sausage can be used the next day in an omelet or frozen for pizza toppings !