Vesuvius Burger

Pairs well with:


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


½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided (½ teaspoon for sauce, ½ teaspoon for patties)
12 thin slices pancetta
2 pounds ground chuck, 80% lean
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
3 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons small Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
6 tablespoons drained and chopped, herb & oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 bun sized pieces foccacia bread, split horizontally
1 ½ cups packed baby arugula leaves



To make the sauce, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan, Worcestershire, garlic and ½ teaspoon pepper, reserving ½ teaspoon pepper for patties, in a small bowl. Stir until mixed well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers. Preheat a gas grill to medium high heat. Place pancetta on a fire proof rimmed nonstick griddle pan and cook until done and crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside. Combine chuck, onion, basil, Zinfandel, salt and reserved ½ teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions. Form the portions into patties sized to fit the bread. Place 1 tablespoon Gorgonzola crumbles and 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes on each of 6 patties. Top with remaining 6 patties. Seal the patties together securely, taking care to keep the cheese and tomatoes completely encased in the meat. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on the rack, cover, and cook turning once, until done to preference, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. Place foccacia bread cut sides down on outer edges of grill during last few minutes of cooking to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan dressing on cut sides of top and bottom bread pieces. On bottom bread, place 1/4 cup arugula, a patty, 2 pieces pancetta and bread top. Serve immediately. Makes 6 burgers.