Burgers -Italian Style

Gourmet burgers fer sure.

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE ROASTED TOMATOES
3 tomatoes, quartered
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
10 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE BURGERS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 very thin slices prosciutto
2 large shallots, finely diced (about 2/3 cup)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 pounds freshly ground beef chuck (preferably prime grade)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten to blend
4 3 1/2-inch squares ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
8 romaine lettuce leaves

FOR THE GOURMET KETCHUP:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
YIELD: Makes four gourmet burgers
COURSE: Beef
CUISINE: American
Prep Time: 35 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Total Time: 1 hrs 15 min
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Prepare the roasted tomatoes:
    Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet. Arrange the garlic slices on top of the tomatoes and scatter the thyme sprigs over the tomatoes. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are tender and golden brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the burgers:
    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches, lay the prosciutto slices in the pan and cook over medium heat until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the crisped prosciutto to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  4. Gently mix the cooled sautéed shallots and garlic with the ground beef, parsley, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl until well blended. Mix in the egg. Divide the beef mixture into 4 equal mounds. Using a 4-inch ring mold, shape each mound into a patty.
  5. Preheat a grill pan or prepare a barbecue for medium-high heat. Brush the cut sides of the ciabatta with butter. Grill the ciabatta, cut side down, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Place the ciabatta on a plate and cover to keep warm.
  6. Grill the patties until brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the patties over. Top the patties with the roasted tomatoes and then with the cheese. Continue to grill until the patties are cooked to medium-rare doneness, about 3 minutes longer.
  7. Prepare the gourmet ketchup:
    Whisk the ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chives, and tarragon in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well. Set the sauce aside.
  8. To serve: Place the lettuce over the grilled ciabatta bottoms. Set the patties on the lettuce. Spoon some gourmet ketchup over the burgers. Top with the crisped prosciutto. Cover with the ciabatta tops. Serve the remaining gourmet ketchup alongside.