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Piedmont Burger

by , Owner, Hartz Spice, Portland, Ore.

Piedmont Burger

Serves 2

The beef, cheese, and mushrooms were all originally cultivated in northern Italy, as were the garlic and bacon. It’s no wonder that all these ingredients work so well together.

  • 1 pound Certified Piedmontese ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 slices black pepper-seasoned bacon, cut into 1 inch segments
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 portobello mushroom, cut in half and then into 1/4 inch short strips
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese*
  • 2 onion hamburger buns

Form the ground beef into two patties and season both sides with salt and black pepper. Place the patties on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the grill so that it has both direct and indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, distribute the coals evenly over half the grill. If using a gas grill, turn on half of the grill to high heat (at least 400°F).

While the grill is heating up, cook the bacon and mushrooms. Add the bacon to a sauté pan and cook slowly over medium heat for about 17 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Add the mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan; sauté for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden brown, stirring every few minutes. Add the chopped, roasted garlic and cooked bacon. Toss well and set aside.

Place the burgers on the grill over direct heat, and grill for about 8 minutes. Flip the burgers over and cook for another 3 minutes. Move the burgers to indirect heat and top them with the sautéed bacon, mushrooms, and roasted garlic. Add crumbled gorgonzola cheese on top. Place the lid back on the grill and cook for another 4 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the temperature of the burgers should be about medium (about 140°F to 145°F).

Place the burger on the bottom toasted bun and set the top toasted bun to the side to rest.

*Buy a wedge of Gorgonzola cheese and crumble it yourself. Pre-crumbled gorgonzola cheese is usually drier and does not melt as well.

Roasting Garlic

There are two methods of roasting garlic, and both are relatively straightforward.

The first method is to roast the garlic in the oven. Cut the top off of the garlic head to expose the cloves, and drizzle with olive oil. Place the head in a pan with aluminum foil around it. Roast in a 350°F oven until the garlic head is slightly golden and soft, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool and remove from the garlic cloves from the skins.

The other way to roast garlic is to peel about 1 to 2 heads of garlic, trim off the hard bottom end, place in a small pan, and top off with a little olive oil. Simmer until the garlic is golden brown. Once it is golden brown, remove from heat and allow the garlic to cool to room temperature. Drain the oil. The garlic is ready to use. The oil now has a roasted garlic flavor and can be used in dressings, pasta salads, or to cook with. Keep both the roasted garlic and the oil refrigerated.

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