Spicy Pepper Jack Pizza Burger with Garlic Ciabatta

Pairs well with:


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


cooking spray for grill rack (freebee-read recipe before you disqualify)
1 1/2 lbs. Freshly (twice) ground beef brisket
3 teaspoons Hot Salt
1/4 cup SUTTER HOME Zinfandel
1/2 lb. meatloaf mix (Beef, pork, veal)
3 tablespoons GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard (1 tablespoon for the burgers, 2 tablespoons for the topping)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons COLAVITA Basilino olive oil (1 tablespoon for the burgers, 1 tablespoon for the topping, 1/4 cup to brush on burgers, 1/4 cup to drizzle on garlic bread)
2 tablespoons Organic Fire Roasted Chili flavored tortilla chips – finely crushed into crumbs.
2 tablespoons Hot Buffalo Wing flavored pretzel pieces – finely crushed into crumbs
Red onions (1/2 cup coarsely cut for burgers, 1/2 of an onion cut into rings for topping)
8oz package Mexican Blend shredded cheese (2oz for the burgers, 6 oz for the topping)
2 CALIFORNIA AVOCADOS peeled and pitted (1 mashed for the burgers, 1 cut vertically into 12 slices for the topping)
2 1/2 cups COLAVITA Spicy Marinara Sauce (1 cup for the burgers, 1 1/2 cups for topping)
2 sticks softened butter (read recipe before you disqualify)
3/4 cup fresh parsley – finely chopped (1/4 cup for burgers, 1/2 cup for garlic bread)
14 cloves of garlic – finely minced (2 cloves for the burgers, 14 cloves for the garlic bread)
2-3 loaves of Ciabatta bread(depending on size of loaf) or 6 Ciabatta rolls



Before you begin: Remove the cold grill rack from the grill. Clean if necessary. Spray generously with cooking spray to prevent the burgers from sticking. Prepare a medium-hot fire as usual in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. (remember to replace the grill rack) To make the burgers: Place the beef brisket into a large metal bowl. (see optional steps below) Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of Hot Salt over the beef. Set aside the third teaspoon to use later. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Zinfandel over the beef. Scoop portions of meatloaf mix evenly over the beef. Place 2 tablespoons of mustard into a small bowl. Set aside for later. Use the remaining tablespoon of mustard to dot the meat. Use your finger to place dots of mustard all over the meat. Stir 1 tablespoon of Basilino oil into the bowl of mustard that you set aside. Set aside again. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the basilino oil over the burger mix. Set the remaining 1/2 cup of oil aside for later. Sprinkle the tortilla chip and pretzel crumbs into the meat bowl. Add 1/2 cup of red onions to the mix. Save the rings for the topping. Take out 2oz of the cheese blend from the package. Set the rest aside for topping. Chop the 2oz of cheese coarsely and sprinkle over the meat mixture. Add the mashed avocado, making sure to distribute evenly. Add the sliced avocado to the mustard bowl. Carefully coat the avocado with the mustard mixture and set aside. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of Hot Salt over the hamburger mixture. Pour 1 cup of marinara sauce over the meat. Place the rest of the sauce into a fire proof skillet. Set the skillet onto the hot grill. Make sure to keep an eye on the skillet while you work. Stir the sauce occasionally. Move the skillet to a cooler part of the grill if the sauce gets too hot and bubbly. The sauce should be on a low simmer, not boiling. Place 2 sticks of softened butter into a medium sized bowl. Add 1/4 cup of parsley to the butter, and a 1/4 cup of parsley to the hamburger mix. Sprinkle 2 cloves of finely minced garlic over the meat mixture and add the remaining 12 cloves to the butter. Mix the parsley and garlic into the butter and set aside. This is your butter for the garlic bread. OK, now the fun part. Using your hands, carefully combine the ingredients that are in the metal bowl. Try not to handle the meat too much, but you need to combine the ingredients thoroughly. Separate the mixture into 6 equal portions. Form each portion into a patty. Try to make them equal in size and thickness so you will just need to test one patty for doneness later. Pour half (1/4 cup) of your previously reserved basilino oil into a small bowl. Set aside the remaining 1/4 cup for the garlic bread. Brush the oil onto the patties. This will help to keep them from sticking to the grill and will give them a little bit more flavor from the basil in the oil. Place patties on grill. Cook for about 5 minutes. Prepare the garlic bread while the patties are cooking. Don't forget to stir the sauce. Mix the garlic butter that you previously made one last time. If you are using Ciabatta loaves, cut off the short ends on a diagonal. Make sure that both ends are cut in the same direction. Next, cut the loaves (diagonally) in half or thirds depending on the size of the bread. Your goal is to have 6 sections of bread. Make sure that the cut is in the same direction as the cut sides. Next, slice each section of bread open by making a horizontal cut almost all the way through the pieces of bread. Do not separate the top halves from the bottom halves. (NOTE – we will call the bread sections rolls from now on) If you are using pre-made Ciabatta rolls, cut 2 opposite sides on a diagonal as above taking care not to cut off the "hinge" if the rolls are pre-split. If the rolls are not split, slice them open as above. Do not separate the halves. Generously spread the garlic butter onto the insides of the rolls all the way to the edges – don't skimp. Drizzle the buttered sides of the rolls with the left over 1/4 cup of basilino. Time to flip burgers! After the burgers are flipped, spoon a tablespoon of sauce onto each patty. Spread sauce with the back of the spoon. Be careful of drips and flare ups from the grill. You can toast the Ciabatta during the last couple of minutes of cooking time for the burgers. Place the bread onto the grill, buttered side down. Toast until golden brown. Keep an eye on the bread because it can burn easily. Check the burgers for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into the dead center of a test burger. (if all of the burgers are the same size and thickness, you only need to check one burger) The reading should be 160F for medium. Let the burgers cook longer if you like them well done. After the rolls are toasted, transfer them to a cool edge of the grill (or a warming rack) for 1 minute. This will prevent the bread from getting soggy. While the bread is cooling, top each burger with about an ounce of the shredded cheese blend. Now you need to work quickly because there is nothing worse than a cold burger. Remove the rolls from the grill and place on plates. Transfer burger patties to paper plates for a little while to soak up grease. This will help keep the roll from getting soggy. You can top the burgers while you are waiting. Top each patty with a tablespoon of sauce. Place 2 of the mustard avocado slices on each burger, arranged into the shape of a V. Next, place a burger on the bottom halves of each of the rolls, buttered side up. Top each burger with 2-3 of the red onion rings that we set aside before. Serve with the top open to prevent the bread from getting soggy from the steam. Makes 6 burgers