Pizzaiola Burgers

by Cate on March 31, 2008

pizzaiola-burgers-small.jpgWith just the tiniest hint of Spring weather, we have all been itching to drag the grill out of hibernation and fire the thing up.  There’s something about eating outside that just makes food taste better.  While it wasn’t quite warm enough this weekend to eat outside, it was warm enough at least for the grill to have its inaugural burn and kick off the season.

Using a new Rachael Ray recipe, we went with burgers on Saturday night.  She used inspiration from Steak Pizzaiola to create these Power Burgers on a recent episode of her talk show.  I could swear she has several recipes named “Power Burgers,” so I’m calling these Pizzaiola Burgers instead, so there. 

Using the traditional flavors from a Steak Pizzaiola recipe, the burgers were smothered with caramelized onions that had been slowly sauteed in tomato paste and red wine and then topped with melted Provolone.  Forgoing the traditional bun, these became knife-and-fork burgers when served atop toasted garlic Semolina bread.  Mmmm, so good; packed with flavor from both the ingredients and the toppings, they produced a nice juicy burger that left you wanting more. 

Pizzaiola Burgers
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

  • 5  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided 
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry Italian red wine
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin (93% lean or greater)
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, finely chopped (I used salami)
  • 1/4 cup (about a handful) Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed up slightly with your fingers
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 4 slices sesame semolina bread, each about an inch thick
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 8 slices deli provolone
  • Yields: 4 servings

    Preheat broiler. Place a large pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan. Add the onions and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place a lid or piece of aluminum foil over the pan and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid or foil from the pan and continue cooking until fully softened, another 4-5 minutes.

    Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until it smells sweet and has caramelized slightly, 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to remove any bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated, 3-4 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat, cover them again with the lid or aluminum foil and reserve until ready to serve.

    Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with three turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground sirloin, pepperoni, parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes. Season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then flatten the meat down in the bowl and score it into four using the side of your hand. Form a patty with each of the four portions of the meat and place them into the hot skillet. Cook until desired doneness, 4-5 minutes per side for medium.

    While the burgers are cooking, place a small pot over medium heat with the garlic. Melt the butter then remove the pot from the heat to allow the garlic flavor to infuse the butter. While the butter is melting, place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them under the broiler until golden brown on each side. Brush the toasts with the garlic butter and sprinkle the grated cheese over each of them.

    Place four toasts back on the baking sheet and top each with one of the burgers. Divide the onion mixture between the four burgers and top each one with two slices of cheese. Place the burgers back under the broiler to melt the cheese.

    Serve the burgers with a knife and fork, and your favorite salad on the side.

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    { 7 comments… read them below or add one }

    RecipeGirl March 31, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Looks like an extra good burger recipe to try! I agree… let’s get those grills going. We just got new grates for our grill the other day so I expect to start using it very soon!


    Madeline April 1, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I think you are making more RR recipes lately than I am!!!


    Patsy April 1, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Those sound soooooo good! We need to break out the grill soon as the rain lets up!


    Deborah April 1, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    This sounds delicious!! Now if it would only stop raining and snowing…


    Lori Lynn @ Taste With The Eyes April 1, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Oh boy, do those ever look good! Love the melting cheese, great photo!


    Maria April 2, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Looks heavenly. One day last week it was 60+° when I got home from work and I stared longingly at my grill. If I hadn’t been sick this past weekend, I would have cooked outside. I’ve been looking through grilling recipes all week. NYC’s weekend forecast is rain. Sigh!


    The Neighbor Husband April 2, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    The burgers were fantastic. It put a ton of idea’s in my head for burgers this Summer :)

    Keep an eye out for the burger chronicles coming this Spring ; > )


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