Cocoa Cheeseburgers

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


1 cup dry red wine
3 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
6 ounces coarsely chopped pancetta (Italian bacon)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
6 garlic cloves, minced 2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
12 slices of Italian bread
Olive oil
6 – 1/4 inch thick slices of Gorgonzola cheese
Sliced beefsteak tomatoes



Sauce Combine red wine, chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened, stirring throughout. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the fresh mint. Set aside to cool. Note – the sauce can be made one day in advance. Pour into a glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed. Filling Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pancetta grease and dispose of the rest. Return the pan to the heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of pancetta grease, the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic to the pan. Cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. After cooling, stir in the pancetta and set aside. Assembling the Burgers Place ground chuck in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, the cooled sauce and filling and mix lightly with hands. When ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, shape mixture into six patties. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high and brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 4 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, top each patty with a slice of Gorgonzola, cover the grill, and let the cheese melt, about 1 minute. Brush the Italian bread slices with olive oil and carefully place them on the grill to toast lightly, turning once. Remove the patties and toasted bread from the grill. Place a patty on one slice of bread and top with a slice of tomato. Top with another slice of bread and serve.