Ba-Da-Bing! Braciole Burgers

Pairs well with:


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


1 head radicchio
Ice water

For the Jersey Tomato Pancetta Sauce:
2 cups Jersey grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons Colavita olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup small diced pancetta (about 4 ounces)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

For the grilled radicchio:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup Colavita olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the patties:
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon salt

2 cups loosely packed arugula leaves
Vegetable oil for brushing the grill

For assembly:
6 thick slices provolone cheese
6 soft Ciabatta square sandwich rolls, split



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

Cut the radicchio into quarters lengthwise, keeping some of the stem attached. Submerge the radicchio in a large bowl of ice water for 30 minutes to take out some of the bitterness (cover the radicchio with a plate to keep submerged if necessary.)

In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a 12-inch fireproof or cast iron skillet on the grill rack over medium-hot heat. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and roast, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes start to char and are popping, 6-8 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes back to the bowl and wipe out the skillet. Place the skillet back on the grill rack and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until the fat has mostly rendered and the pancetta begins to crisp. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, stirring frequently, 4 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, Zinfandel, Worcestershire, and crushed red pepper. Add the roasted tomatoes and mash them with the back of a rubber spatula or spoon. Simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes longer to thicken, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

Grill the radicchio: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, thyme, crushed red pepper, olive oil, and vinegar, Season with salt and pepper. Drain the radicchio on paper towels, patting them dry. Place the radicchio in a shallow baking dish, carefully open up the leaves and spoon the olive oil mixture inside. Grill the radicchio over medium-high heat, until it has browned on all sides, turning occasionally with tongs, 6-8 minutes. Return the radicchio to the shallow baking dish; cover to keep warm.

Prepare the patties: In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, sausage, Zinfandel, pine nuts, parsley, raisins, oregano, sage, and salt and mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls.

Coarsely chop the grilled radicchio. Mix it with the arugula and reserved olive oil mixture in the shallow baking dish and set aside.

Grill the patties: Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. During the last few minutes of grilling, place one slice of cheese on each patty and place the rolls, cut sides down, around the circumference of the grill to lightly toast.

Assemble the burgers: Top the bottom halves of the Ciabatta rolls with some of the grilled radicchio-arugula salad. Spread the top halves of the rolls with a thick layer of the tomato-pancetta sauce. Place a patty on the bottom halves, add the top halves, and serve immediately!