RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Cracked Pepper Pecorino Burgers with Rustic Wild Mushroom Ketchup

Juicy, peppery beef burgers are stuffed with Pecorino Romano cheese and topped with earthy, rustic ketchup. This isn’t the kind of ketchup you want to dip your fries into, but rather a chunky, flavorful ketchup made of tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon and a touch of red wine. If a nice variety of fresh mushrooms are unavailable, reconstituted dried mushrooms will make a nice substitute.


3 thick slices center cut Apple wood smoked bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 shallot, minced
10 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (porcini, chanterelle, crimini, etc.), stems removed, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil, drained)
1/4 cup small diced plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
8 ounces Pecorino Romano Cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Oil to brush the grill
6 Poppy seeded Hamburger rolls, slightly firm texture, split
12 large Arugula leaves


Preheat a gas grill to medium high heat.

To prepare the ketchup, in a large fire proof skillet over the hot grill cook the bacon until crispy. Stir in the shallot and cook until tender, but not too brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, plum tomatoes, Sutter Home Cabernet and beef broth. Cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire sauce, the tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the thyme; cook an additional minute, cover and keep warm, stirring occasionally, while preparing the patties.

Break apart the ground chuck into a large bowl. Add the diced Pecorino Romano cheese, the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and the black pepper. Using your hands gently combine. Form the meat into 6 equal sized patties.

Lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Arrange the patties on the grill and cook in a closed grill for 4 minutes. Flip patties and grill for an additional 4-5 minutes for medium rare or until desired doneness. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, arrange the rolls split side down on the edges of the grill to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, Arrange 2 arugula leaves on the bottom half of each roll followed by a cooked patty. Spoon the rustic mushroom ketchup over each patty, evenly dividing. Top with remaining roll halves and serve immediately.