YO! Philly Cheesesteak Burgers

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

I grew up outside of the city of Philadelphia.When my friends and I would go into the city to see a concert or sporting event, we’d end our night out in the cheesesteak and hoagie Mecca of South Philly for a cheesesteak “wit” (with onions), or a hoagie with the works. There are as many opinions about the “correct” or “best” cheesesteak or hoagie as there are variations of them. For cheesesteaks, some purists scoff at anything except Cheez Whiz while for others, only provolone or American cheese allowed. And for hoagies, whoa! Limitless possibilities! This burger is a great local American burger because it takes my favorite Philly cheesesteak and zests it up with the essence of my favorite hoagie – savor the flavors Philly has to offer! (By-the-way, no Whiz for me – I’m a “Prov” person!)


2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound Johnsonville All Natural Ground Mild Italian Sausage
2 ounces shredded sharp Italian provolone (1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons Sutter Home White Merlot
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

Onions and Peppers:
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound thinly sliced fresh sweet onion (about 2 medium)
1/4 pound thinly sliced fresh red pepper (about 1 medium)

Jumped Broccoli Rabe:
2 bunches broccoli rabe, tough stems discarded, leaves and florets washed & roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 ounces diced sopressata slices (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers

Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 slices smoked provolone cheese (like Stella brand)
6 split Italian rolls, with a slightly chewy bite to the crust


– Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
– To make the patties, spread the chuck and sausage out in a large shallow pan. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, wine, oregano, garlic, thyme, pepper and salt. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
– To make the Onions and Peppers, heat the olive oil in a large, deep non-stick sauté pan on the grill rack. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and keep warm.
– To make the Jumped Broccoli Rabe, bring 1 cup of water to boil in a large, deep non-stick sauté pan with a lid on the grill rack. Add rabe, cover and blanch/steam for 5 minutes. Drain rabe, set aside, dry the pan with paper towel and return pan to grill rack. Heat the oil in the pan. Add the garlic, sopressata and crushed red peppers and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Do not let garlic brown. Return the rabe to the pan, cover and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rabe are tender. Remove from heat, set aside and keep warm.
– 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 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the patties and cook until done to preference, 4 to 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking place an equal portion of broccoli rabe on top of each patty and top rabe with a slice of cheese. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
– To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom, place an equal portion of the onions and peppers followed by a rabe-and-cheese-topped patty. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.