Auntie Jenn’s Portabella Surprise Burgers

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


1 can anchovies
2 pounds ground beef (between 85-95% lean)
1 cup portabella mushroom cap finely chopped (about one large cap)
½ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
½ cup pepper jack cheese freshly grated
½ cup A-1 seasoning sauce
¼ cup tomato catsup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
Large bakery buns Softened, unsalted butter or margarine



1. Light coals on grill & let burn down to grey (no flame). 2. Drain anchovy oil into small bowl and set both aside. 3. Crumble ground beef into large, non-reactive bowl. Add mushrooms, breadcrumbs, cheese, wet ingredients and pepper. Mix thoroughly. 4. Form meat mixture into 6 evenly sized balls. Place in refrigerator until coals are ready to use. 5. Spread coals into single layer across grill, leaving one side free of coals to roughly 6”. There should be no flame—coals should be evenly grey but still firm. 6. Lower coal pan to bottom or grill; or raise grilling surface to highest setting in order to separate the meat from the heat. 7. On clean, non-porous surface, form balls into evenly sized patties about ½-inch thick. Brush anchovy oil on one side of patty, and place onto grill. 8. Brush remaining oil onto uncooked side of burgers and flip at ~7 minutes. Do not “press” burgers when they begin to shrink. 9. Evenly butter the inside of bakery buns and place on the side of the grill with no coals. Toast to golden brown and remove to plate. 10. Place burgers onto toasted buns. 11. Serve hot.