There are times in life that call for a burger. Football games, cornhole parties, random Thursdays, backyard games of badminton with a court spray painted onto the grass...are all a little better with a big beefy patty. For events such as these, the original with lettuce, tomato and ketchup will definitely suffice. But there are occasions that call for a supremely stepped up burger. For the hubs and I, our favorite of these occasions is great bottle of red wine. And my-oh-my, do I have a delicious burger for your next big-bodied red.
Now if you're not a wine drinker, no worries. This burger would be excellent with either beer, burbon or chocolate milk. (But then again, what isn'g great with chocolate milk?)
Have you ever made a stepped up burger? Well the rules are easy. Basically, you take a single ingredient that piques your palate and add complimentary flavors. If that sounds simple enough, good (because then I've explained it correctly). That is how I end up with tasty dishes such as Rosemary Salmon Burgers with Blackberries & Provolone and Blue Cheese & Peach Burgers, as well as this tasty creation. On lazy Saturdays, we like to pass the time chatting and tasting at our local wine shop. And typically, we end up trucking home with a bottle or two tucked under our arms. This burger was born out of a recommendation for tomato sauce and meatballs with a delicious Italian import. So I took the words "tomato" and "beef" and just ran with it.
If you asked the hubs, he would tell you that I am a roast tomato fiend. Winter, spring, summer or fall, I will roast tomatoes in the oven or on the grill. Plum, whole, cherry, roma, tomatillos even. Any excuse that I can find to pop a soft, flavor-packed bite of juicy tomato into my mouth I take advantage of. Fortunately, the hubs also loves tomatoes and fully supports my binge-roasting. It's a happy home when tomatoes are in the oven.
The binge-roasting happily also extends to other types of vegetables, such as red onions. I love them raw, but also really love them roasted. When these two garden favorites are thrown into an oven or on a grill, their flavor develops depth and intensifies wonderfully. The flavors just pop and come alive. To compliment their darkened delicious flavor, smoked gouda was the perfect compliment. It added another dimension of earthiness that was truly fabulous with both the beef and veggies.
The hubs was drooling over this burger. He states that it's his new all-time favorite, and would probably be happy eating it once a week. You have the cheese, tomatoes and onions of the traditional burger, but stepped up into something truly terrific. So pour yourself a bottle of cabernet or a glass of 2% and enjoy.
Roasted Tomato, Onion & Smoked Gouda Burger (3 large burgers)
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs garlic
- salt & pepper
- 3 slices smoked gouda
- 1/2 c spinach
- 3 buns
- 12 oz 90% lean roast beef
- 1/4 c minced onion
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Quarter your tomatoes and remove any stem that might be remaining. Slice onion into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Combine tomatoes and onions in a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then add the garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently until evenly coated.
When the oven is hot, transfer the tomatoes onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. After the tomatoes have roasted for about 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet and add the onion rounds and remaining garlic in the bowl. Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, stirring gently on occasion, until the onions and tomatoes are soft and fragrant.
To make the burgers, combine the beef, onion, garlic, worcestershire, chili powder, salt and pepper(s) in a medium mixing bowl (you can use the one that the vegetables were tossed in earlier). Form into 3 even patties, pressing a slight divot into the middle to help the burger stay flat. You can also use pre-made patties if you prefer.
Grill the burger until it reached desired temperature (for mid-rare, about 4 minutes each side). Lay the smoked gouda on the top of the burger in the last 2 minutes of cooking time so that it melts slightly. You can also grill the bun in the last two minutes if desired.
To assemble, place a few leaves of spinach on the bottom bun, then top with the cooked burger patty. Top with the roasted tomatoes and onions. Serve hot.