A Taste of Tuscany


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Tomato Relish

3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup finely diced Spanish onion
1 small garlic clove finely minced
6 large ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 finely minced fresh bay leaf
1 ½ tablespoons bottled barbeque sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

In fireproof skillet combine the olive oil and the chopped onion. Place on the grill rack and cook, stirring occasionally until onions start to caramelize (about 12-15 minutes). Add the garlic and heat until fragrant about 30-60 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently
(15-20 minutes).
Remove the pan from the grill and set aside.

Mop Sauce

½ cup beef broth
2 tablespoons dry red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
½ of a small jalapeño pepper seeded and cut into large pieces
1 ½ tablespoons bottled barbeque sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

Tuscan patties

1 tablespoon finely minced Poblano chili pepper (Char on grill until skin is well browned all over. Put the charred pepper in a small paper bag for 5 minutes to allow steam to loosen the skin. Peel and remove seeds before mincing.)

In a large bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon of minced Poblano chili pepper and the next 8 ingredients and mix thoroughly.

3 garlic cloves finely minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh basil
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs (1 slice of bread, crust removed)
2 tablespoons dry red wine

2 lbs. Angus ground chuck

Gently mix ground chuck into the spice mixture. Shape into 6 equal portions and shape into patties. Handle the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it.

Olive oil
Kaiser rolls
Butter leaf lettuce
Grilled onions (recipe below)
Avocado slices

Grilled onions
Slice 1 large Spanish or yellow onion into ½ inch thick rounds and put a skewer through them lengthwise.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties and the onion skewers on the rack, brush both generously with the mop sauce, cover, and cook. Brush onions and patties with mop sauce several times before turning. Repeat mop sauce application on other side of patties and onions until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium burgers.

Remove onions from grill when browned on the edges and softened. Separate into rings.

When burgers are almost done, slice Kaiser rolls in half and brush lightly with olive oil. Place cut side down on grill rack and toast lightly. Remove from grill and tent with foil to keep warm.

To assemble the burgers, Place 1 or 2 leaves of butter leaf lettuce on bottom, add burger patty, several rings of the grilled onions, 2 avocado slices and the Tomato Relish divided equally among the 6 burgers. Cover with the top of roll and serve.