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The Best Burgers

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Tuscan Burgers Bruschetta
Napa Valley Basil-Smoked Burgers
Portobello Burgers

(Family Features) - Beef burgers are the number one hands-down favorite for the grill. And these gourmet creations will make your taste buds tingle! They showcase how versatile ground beef pairs with flavor favorites from basil to portobello mushrooms, Gorgonzola cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and, of course, wine.

How to Build a Better Burger

  • The experts at the Beef & Veal Culinary Center recommend using 80% lean ground beef (which has an 80/20 lean-fat ratio) or ground chuck for the juiciest burgers.

  • For the best results, mix and shape patties gently but thoroughly. Use 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef to make 4 (3/4- inch thick) patties.

  • Cook burgers over medium heat (coals or gas), turning occasionally. Turn burgers with a spatula; do not flatten or press during cooking.

  • Cook burgers to medium doneness (160°F) or until centers are no longer pink and juices show no pink color. Use an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the burger to check the temperature.

  • For more burger recipes and grilling tips, visit www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Wine Notes

  • Sutter Home's executive chef, Jeffrey Starr, suggests spicy Zinfandel or a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with these burgers - both in the recipes and to drink. But his best advice: Drink the wine you like with the food you like. It's really up to you.

  • For more Build A Better Burger recipes, visit www.buildabetterburger.com.

Tuscan Burgers Bruschetta

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto (about 1/2 ounce each)
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese
  • 8 slices Italian bread (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
  • Extra virgin olive oil*
  • Tomato Topping
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
    1. Combine tomato topping ingredients in small bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper, as desired. Set aside.
    2. Combine ground beef, Gorgonzola cheese, onion and parsley in large bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper, as desired, and mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 3/4-inch thick patties.
    3. Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until not pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning occasionally. During last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling, top each burger with prosciutto slice and 1/4 of fontina cheese.
    4. Meanwhile brush both sides of bread slices with oil. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place bread on grid. Grill until lightly toasted, turning once.
    5. Spoon 1/2 of tomato topping on 4 bread slices; top with burgers and remaining tomato topping. Close sandwiches.

Preparation and Cooking Time
45 to 50 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Cook's Tip: An equal amount of baked or boiled (not smoked) thinly sliced ham may be substituted for prosciutto.

*Recipes tested with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Napa Valley Basil-Smoked Burgers

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons soft Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel, or other dry red wine
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 8 large sprigs fresh basil
  • 4 large poppy seed or sesame seed sandwich rolls, split
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese (about 3/4 ounce each)
  • 4 leaves red leaf lettuce
  • 4 large slices tomato (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 4 very thin red onion slices, separated into rings
  • 4 small sprigs fresh basil
Pesto Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto sauce

Preparation
    1. Combine pesto mayonnaise ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
    2. Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, chopped basil, wine, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic salt in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 3/4- inch thick patties.
    3. Moisten 8 large basil sprigs with water; toss sprigs directly onto medium, ash-covered coals just before grilling patties. Place patties on grid directly over basil sprigs. Grill, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until not pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning occasionally. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place rolls, cut sides down, around outer edge of grid. Grill until lightly toasted. During the last minute of grilling, top each burger with cheese slice.
    4. Spread pesto mayonnaise evenly over cut sides of rolls. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce leaf; top with burger, tomato slice, onion rings and basil sprig. Close sandwiches.

Preparation and Cooking Time
45 to 50 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Cook's Tip: To make soft bread crumbs, place torn bread in food processor or blender container. Cover; pulse on and off to form fine crumbs. Regular white bread can be substituted.

*Recipes tested with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Portobello Burgers

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel, or other dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 pieces focaccia bread, about 4 inches wide, cut in half horizontally or 4 onion rolls, split
  • 16 arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Marinated Portobellos
  • 1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel, or other dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil*
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 4 large (about 3-inch diameter) portobello mushrooms, stems removed

Preparation
    1. Combine sun-dried tomato mayonnaise ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
    2. Combine seasoning ingredients in small bowl. Set aside. Prepare portobello mushrooms. Whisk wine, oil, lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of seasoning mixture in small bowl until blended. Place mushrooms in glass dish. Pour marinade over mushrooms; turn mushrooms to coat. Set aside.
    3. Combine ground beef, shallots, wine, cumin, red pepper and remaining seasoning mixture in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 3/4-inch thick patties.
    4. Remove mushrooms from marinade; reserve marinade. Place mushrooms on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes or until tender, turning once and brushing with reserved marinade. About 10 minutes before mushrooms are done, move mushrooms to outer edge of grid. Place patties in center of grid; grill 13 to 15 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until not pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning occasionally. Remove; keep warm.
    5. Place bread, cut sides down, on grid. Grill until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
    6. Spread sun-dried tomato mayonnaise over cut sides of bread. Line each bottom bread piece with 4 arugula leaves; top with burger, mushroom and 2 tablespoons goat cheese. Close sandwiches.

Preparation and Cooking Time
55 to 60 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
*Recipes tested with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

SOURCE: Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Sutter Home Winery



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