South Philly Braciole Burgers
I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia.When I moved into the city, I was thrilled to be able to shop regularly for produce, meats and seafood at the Philadelphia Italian Market in South Philly – the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the US. South Philly is also home to some outstanding Italian restaurants, and it was at one of them where I first tasted braciole – rolled and stuffed flank steak braised in seasoned tomato sauce until fork tender. While there are many variations of stuffing for braciole, I created a version that’s been given a huge stamp of approval from friends and family. This burger is a great local American burger because it highlights quality ingredients readily available at South Philly’s Italian Market to reconstruct my braciole into a great American burger!
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup Sutter Home White Merlot
Arugula and Roasted Red Peppers:
2 tablespoons lemon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic fig vinegar (like Flora brand)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 ounces baby arugula (about 3 to 4 cups)
1 ounce torn fresh basil (about 1packed cup)
1 – 12 ounce jar flame-roasted red peppers, thinly sliced (like Flora brand)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons diced pitted kalamata olives
2 pounds ground chuck
4 ounces finely chopped Genoa salami
1/3 cup chopped moist-style sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 – 1/8 inch slices sopressata
6 slices smoked provolone cheese (like Stella brand)
6 split Italian-style Kaiser rolls with a slightly chewy crust
– Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
– Add the raisins and wine to a small bowl and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
– To make the Arugula and Roasted Red Peppers, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, pepper and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Mix together the arugula and basil in a large bowl, and the red peppers, pine nuts and olives in a medium bowl, and set both bowls aside.
– To make the patties, spread the chuck out in a large shallow pan. Sprinkle evenly with reserved raisins and wine, salami, sundried tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, pepper and salt. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, pressing surface raisins and sundried tomatoes into the meat, and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls.
– To cook the sopressata, place the slices on the grill rack and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom. Turn the slices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer until browned on the bottom. Remove from grill and keep warm. Scrape and burn off grill as necessary.
– To cook the patties, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and cook until done to preference, 3 to 4 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, top each burger with a slice of sopressata then provolone cheese, and place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. Lightly toss arugula mixture with red pepper mixture and dressing.
– To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom, place a sopressata-and-cheese-topped patty. Top with equal portions of the Arugula and Roasted Red Peppers, the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.