Vesuvius Burgers


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



To make the sauce, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan, Worcestershire, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, reserving 1/2 tsp. 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 non-stick 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 1/2 tsp. 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 Tbsp. gorgonzola crumbles and 1 Tbsp. 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 Tbsp. 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.