Sunday, July 1, 2012

Best Burger Ever!

The Food Network used to broadcast the annual Sutter Home Winery Build a Better Burger Contest.  There was wine, the excitement of a competition in the blazing sun, and the fun of watching celebrity chefs have to squeeze their mouths around enormous burgers on camera.  But most of all, there were fantastic burger recipes.  Thankfully, Sutter Home posts the recipes of the finalists and grand prize winners for several years running on their website.  My husband and I have eagerly tried several, and with the 4th of July (aka national hamburger eating day) right around the corner, I wanted to share one of their fantastic recipes.  Sooo amazingly delicious - worth all the prep to enjoy the most flavorful patty EVER! (And congrats to 2002 grand prize winner Annelle Williams for coming up with this one.)

Vitello Focaccia Burger


Caprese Topping

12 tomato slices
12 fresh basil leaves
6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning herb blend
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 ounces hard salami, cubed
2 ounces prosciutto, sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 pounds ground veal
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Sauvignon Blanc
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 bun-sized focaccia bread sections, sliced horizontally
2 tablespoons butter, melted


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the topping, combine the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in a shallow bowl. Combine the oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to blend well. Add the herb blend and pepper and whisk again. Pour the mixture over the tomato mixture and set aside to marinate.
To make the patties, heat the olive oil in small fire-proof skillet on the grill rack. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Combine the salami, prosciutto, Parmesan, and parsley in a food processor and process just until coarsely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the veal, onion mixture, egg, and Sauvignon Blanc. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the focaccia sections.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done to preference, 3 to 5 minutes on each side for medium. Remove from the heat and let rest while grilling the bread. Brush the cut sides of the focaccia with the butter and place, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, remove the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella from the marinade. On each bottom focaccia, place a veal patty, 2 tomato slices, 2 basil leaves, and a slice of mozzarella. Add the focaccia tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers

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