Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday's Marsala Burgers

Time to tally our food costs for this past week. I have tracked costs from Wednesday's menu through Tuesday night's dinner. In the total I have included any ingredient that I needed to buy to complete that meal, for example if I needed 2 eggs and I was out of eggs, I included the cost of a dozen eggs. My total for week was $102.33 and let me recap what the dinner menu was every night.

Wednesday - Weekday Cassoulet, Blueberry Lemon Crepes (with leftovers)
Thursday - Spicy Linguine with Clams and Mussels
Friday - Mustard-Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes, Salad (with leftovers)
Saturday - East Meets West Salmon with Mango Masala, Rice (with leftovers)
Sunday - Crusted Chicken, Squash and Parsnip Hash, Forest Berry Bread Pudding (with leftovers)
Monday - Chana Masala, Potatoes and Cauliflower (with leftovers)
Tuesday - Marsala Burgers (with leftovers)

Last night's dinner was a simple but delicious burger. I decided to make something simple since I was leaving at 6:15 for an author visit. Richardson, which is the next town over, does a program every year called Richardson Reads One Book and they then sponsor the author for a visit. This year the book was The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It is also the book that my book club has chosen for October. The book is wonderful, set in Seattle around the time of Pearl Harbor and focuses on the American treatment of the Japanese and relations between the Chinese and the Japanese. Mr. Ford's quick take on his book - it's a love story. We all really enjoyed his visit - he is a great storyteller and graciously handled the Q&A time.

Hence the reason for the quick and easy dinner. I seasoned some ground sirloin, shaped them into patties which went on the grill. I meanwhile cooked up some bacon and then used the rendered fat to cook mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Once everything was cooked the pan was deglazed with Marsala wine and allowed to cook down. The saucy mushrooms were finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and some butter. I had 4 leftover hamburger buns stashed in my freezer from the last time I made some and they were just as good as the day I made them. The burgers got a slice of provolone cheese in the last minute or two of grilling and then they were topped with the Marsala mushrooms.

This was a really flavorful burger!

Adapted from Annie's Eats website
Marsala Burgers - serves 4
For the burgers:
1 lb. ground sirloin
2 tbsp. finely chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1-2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

For the topping:
4 slices of bacon or pancetta, chopped (I used bacon)
2 cups white or cremini mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. minced shallot
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 ½ cups Marsala wine (sweet)
1 ½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

Sliced provolone cheese, for serving
Hamburger buns, for serving

Heat the grill to medium-high. To prepare the burger patties, combine the ground sirloin, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Mix together until well combined. Form into 4 equal sized patties. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the topping, place a skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon to the pan; sauté, stirring occasionally until pancetta is brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel lined plate. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom, until liquid released by mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and shallot; sauté for 1 minute.

Return the cooked pancetta to the pan and add the tomato paste. Stir while sautéing, until tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute. Off heat, add Marsala; return pan to high heat and simmer vigorously, scraping browned bits from pan bottom until sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Whisk in the butter until completely melted. Keep the sauce warm over low heat while grilling the burgers.

Grill the burgers, 3-5 minutes per side, until cooked through and no longer pink (160˚ F on an instant read thermometer). Place a slice of provolone on top of each patty during the last few minutes of cooking. Toast the burger buns on the grill until light golden. Assemble the burgers on the buns and spoon the Marsala topping over the patties. Serve immediately.

My rating:


  1. A Marsala Burger sounds like it would be wonderful. It's such a great idea and so simple, like you said. Val is going to freak over this. She is such a huge fan of Marsala and now to combine it with a burger will be heaven for her.

    On another note, I like the way you are doing the recaps and how much you have spent on the meals. That's a great idea, you're a natural blogger!

  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence. It is slowly evolving!