Chianti Burgers with Caramelized Onions
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Chef Matteo Gambi gives the quintessential American burger Tuscan flourishes, like caramelized onions, sage, melting Pecorino and a square of focaccia in place of a bun. A gingery homemade ketchup adds a modern twist.
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 medium onions (1 pound), thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced sage
- Four 4-inch focaccia squares, split horizontally
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 4 slices of young Pecorino cheese (4 ounces)
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until a medium amber caramel forms, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree. Strain the ketchup through a sieve. Stir in the ginger and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, 15 minutes. Stir in the sage and keep warm.
- Preheat the oven to 475°. Heat a griddle. Lightly brush the griddle with oil and toast the focaccia on it until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the focaccia to plates.
- Gently shape the ground beef into four 1/2-inch-thick patties and season with salt and pepper. Griddle the burgers over high heat until browned, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and top each one with a slice of cheese. Bake for 5 minutes for medium-rare. Set the burgers on the focaccia and top with the onions and a dollop of the ketchup. Close the burgers and serve.
Pair it with an earthy, herb-scented Chianti.