Pancetta Watermelon Burger

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


1 large bulb elephant garlic
Olive oil (3 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp)
1/4 lbs pancetta – sliced thin
2 Vidalia onions
Balsamic vinegar (6 tbsp. + 1 tbsp)
Coarse ground pepper, kosher salt
1/2 c mayo
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 small seedless watermelon
Focaccia bread (round if you can find them)
1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
Arugula (1 1/2 cups loosely packed)
Pecorino Romano – shaved



Take 2 sheets of aluminum foil (criss-crossing). Place garlic bulb in center of foil, drizzle with oil. Gather the 4 ends of foil at top, forming a “purse”. Put package on grill @ 350 for about 45 minutes. Garlic is done when it’s soft and a caramel color. Take off grill. Be careful when reopening package. You want to reserve the garlic infused oil.

While garlic is cooking, put a sauté pan in the middle of the grill (still @ 350). Put all of pancetta in pan. Sauté until some of the fat is rendered, and pancetta is halfway cooked. Take off grill. Remove from grease. Let stand until cooled. Chop coarsely. Set aside.

Thickly slice 2 Vidalia onions (6 Slices) widthwise (about 1/2″ thick). Drizzle all with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle each slice with a little pepper. Put on grill on outer parts. (If you place this in the middle, the oil will make the grill flare ). Keep on one side for about 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for same amount of time. You want the onions caramelized, but still a little crunchy.

Make Balsamic mayonnaise and store in fridge. Recipe as follows:
In a mixing bowl, combine: mayo, sour cream, shredded Parmesan, 3 large cloves roasted garlic, 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well.

Slice watermelon:
Cut off both ends of watermelon. Stand on one end. Cut off hard skin from top to bottom. Once the skin is off, slice the watermelon lengthwise into 1″ slices. Using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or plastic cup (the size of the bun), cut out 6 nice slices of watermelon. Store in fridge.

Slice 6 pieces of Focaccia in 1/2. Use the roasted garlic oil to brush on bread. Toast on grill. Put in foil on very outer side of grill to keep warm.

Turn temp of grill up to 400.

In separate bowl, mix together ground chuck, pancetta, 1 tsp. pepper, and remaining bulbs of garlic (3-4). Mix well, but quickly. DO NOT over-mix meat. Form into 6 big, but flat patties. Cook in middle of grill, turning only once, for about 4-6 minutes on each side.

In this order, build the burger:
Focaccia bottom,
1/4 c arugula,
pancetta burger,
2 tbsp balsamic mayo,
1 watermelon slice,
1 slice balsamic onion,
4 shaved slices Pecorino Romano,
Focaccia top