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Sunday’s Best Burger with Mighty Caesar Aioli

Growing up, we had spaghetti for dinner every Sunday. So throughout my childhood the house would be filled all day with the smells of homemade "gravy" & meatballs that Mom would be making for dinner. When Mom browned the meatballs I would always ask her to make me one of her special "smashed meatball" for lunch. So Mom would take her fork and proceed to flatten one of the meatballs in the cast iron skillet just for me. It would be cooked to perfection with its crispy, well browned exterior and juicy center. I have brought together the flavors of that special "smashed meatball" and the Caesar Salad that would always accompany Sunday dinner, to create my Sunday’s Best Burger with Mighty Caesar Aioli.

Ingredients 

Mighty Caesar Aioli:
2 cloves of garlic
3 flat anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Beef Patty:
2 pounds freshly ground chuck 80/20
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot wine
6 large romaine lettuce leaves, washed & patted dry
6 Kaiser rolls, split

Instructions 

To make Mighty Caesar Aioli:
Place garlic, anchovy fillets, dry mustard, pecorino romano cheese, lemon juice, pepper and mayonnaise into the bowl of a food processor. Whirl, scraping down sides occasionally, until well combined into a thick sauce. Refrigerate.
To make Patties:
In a large bowl, place the ground beef, romano cheese, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, oregano, eggs, green onions and Merlot wine. Mix lightly until well combined being careful not to over mix as this will cause the patties to become very dense. Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal portions and lightly roll into balls. One at a time, place each ball on a cutting board or similar surface and using a flat bottom plate or pan, press into a patty about 5" in diameter. (Please note that they will be irregularly shaped, don’t try to form them into perfect circles.)
Preheat grill to medium high. Oil the grates on the preheated grill to prevent the patties from sticking. Place patties on grill, cover and cook 4-6 minutes. Flip patties and cook another 3-5 minutes or until done to preference. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place split kaiser rolls, cut side down, on outer edges of the grill. Toast for a minute or two until lightly browned.

To assemble the Sunday’s Best Burger: Spread one rounded teaspoon of the Mighty Caesar Aioli on the cut sides of the tops and bottoms of the rolls. Tear each romaine leaf in half. Place one half leaf of romaine onto the bottom portion of roll, top with a patty, another half leaf of the romaine and then the roll top. Enjoy!
Makes 6 burgers.