Chianti Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Chef Matteo Gambi gives the quintessential American burger Tuscan flourishes, like caramelized onions, sage, melted Pecorino, and a square of focaccia in place of a bun. A gingery homemade ketchup adds a modern twist.
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- 1/2 c. white wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 1 tbsp. minced sage
- 4 focaccia squares
- 1 1/2 lb. ground beef chuck
- 4 slice young Pecorino cheese
- Step 1In 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 purée. Strain the ketchup through a sieve. Stir in the ginger and season with salt and pepper.
- Step 2In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sage and keep warm.
- Step 3Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. 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.
- Step 4Gently 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.
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