Little Italy Sausage Burgers

Accolades 2007 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers

Hope you enjoy this taste of Little Italy!


  • 1/3 cup prepared red-wine vinaigrette
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground pork loin
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickled pepperoncini, stems removed before chopping
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
  • 9 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 6 equal slices
  • 6 bun-sized focaccia bread sections, sliced horizontally
  • 6 thin slices red onion
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded romaine lettuce


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

Stir together the vinaigrette and mayonnaise in a 2-cup bowl until combined. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To make the patties, combine the sausage, pork, pepperoncini, Asiago cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the bread sections.

When the grill is ready, 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 internal temperature of 160 degrees F. One minute before removing the patties from the grill, top with the mozzarella slices and place the focaccia, cut sides down, on the grill to lightly toast.

To build the burgers, spread the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of each focaccia piece. Place the patties on the bottom focaccia pieces. Add the onion slices, lettuce, and bun tops.