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Pancetta Brie Wagyu Burger with black truffle cream, heirloom salad and leeks caramelized in duck fat

This burger is made to enjoy with a fine glass of wine instead of the usual mug of beer. My friends now show up in a white tie and bathing suit for our summer picnics.


2 lbs ground wagyu ribeye
2 tsp seasalt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp black truffle cream
12 slices heirloom tomatoes, preferably different varieties, colors and shapes
4 cups frisee leaves
juice and zest of 1 lemon, (preferably Meyer)
2 tsp Colavita balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Grey Poupon mustard
1/2 tsp freshly grated horseradish
1 tsp seasalt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 tbsp Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Colavita extra virgin olive oil
6 slices pancetta
2 tbsp duck fat
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch lengthwise strips
18 cleaned leeks, cut into 1/4 inch lengthwise strips up to light green color
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
3/4 lb brie cheese, sliced
6 soft poppy seed rolls, split


Preheat grill to medium high.
To make patties, combine ground wagyu, salt, pepper, truffle cream, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit bun size.Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
To make heirloom salad, place tomatoes slices and frisee in large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix lemon, lemon zest, vinegar, mustard. horseradish, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil to make vinegrette. Set aside salad and vinaigrette separately for now.
Place a large, heavy, fire proof skillet on grill. When hot, add olive oil. Cook pancetta slices,in batches if necessary, until crisp. Place pancetta on paper towels to drain, and set aside.
Drain skillet, wipe with paper towel and add duck fat. When hot, add bell pepper, leeks, garlic and cook until caramelized, 5-6 minutes. Remove to warm plate and cover with foil.
Brush grill with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill rack and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. Place cheese slices on patties during last 3 minutes of grilling. Place buns, cut side down on the outer edges of rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
To assemble burgers, mix vinegrette with salad and lightly toss. Place equal portions of frisee and 2 tomato slices on each bun bottom, followed by cheese topped patty, 1 slice pancetta and top with equal portion of caramelized leeks and pepper. Add bun top and serve.


This gourmet burger is just screaming for a bottle of Sutter Home wine. Perfect for your next not so white tie party!