Bolognese Burgers

Pairs well with:


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


10 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 medium size onion, diced
1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfindel
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
20 basil leaves, sliced (chiffonade)
4 slices smoked mozzarella
4 good quality hamburger buns



Make tomato sauce: Coarsely chop plum tomatoes and put in sauce pan on medium-low heat with butter and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Cook for 30 minutes; help tomatoes break up by stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Cool completely. Transfer tomatoes to food processor and process until smooth, 10 seconds. Set aside. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in saute pan; add diced carrot, celery & onion. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes until vegetables soften and begin to color. Cool. Soften bread crumbs in milk for 5 minutes. Combine cooled vegetables, softened bread crumbs, ground chuck, Sutter Home Zinfandel, Parmesan and 1/4 cup homemade tomato sauce. If mixture appears too wet, add additional tablespoon dry bread crumbs and an additional tablespoon Parmesan. Mix well. Score into 4 burgers. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil onto a paper towel and oil grill rack. Heat grill (medium if using gas grill). Form round patties and place on ready grill. Grill burgers to desired doneness, approximately 15 minutes per side for medium/medium rare, turning and brushing burgers with tomato sauce as they cook. While burgers are cooking, mix remaining olive oil with remaining kosher salt, coarse black pepper and basil. Soak mozzarella slices in basil oil. A few minutes before burgers are done, brush buns with remaining basil oil and lay them on grill; also, lay basil soaked mozzarella slices on top of each burger to melt.