Three to Fall For

A recent “Crain’s Chicago Business” article says that you all are taking advantage of falling grocery store prices for beef, chicken, eggs, milk and cheese. Heck I got two-for-one large eggs at Caputo’s the other day, remember last year when eggs were $4/dozen. As result of the price reductions you are apparently not eating out at quick service restaurants as much as their sales down as much as 5 percent.

So I thought I’d take both weather and commerce into consideration and offer you a selection of somewhat more than just “burger” recipes. These take a bit more time and effort but the payoff of a really tasty burger from three different meats and wines to match…I hope you’ll find them – “Three To Fall For”. See what I did there….three recipes, Fall…

The first is a blend of beef and pork with bacon and some horseradish and cheese, really juicy and great with a beer as well as a wine. Everybody says turkey has no flavor and is too dry for a burger; well let me know what you think about my Turkey Burger with Sundried Tomato Caprese and Balsamic Caramelized Onions. Take Italian sausage out of the casing and try it as a burger with a nice dose of garlicy spinach.

Get grilling my friends!

Beef and Pork Burger with Bacon Horseradish and Cheese on Rye or Pretzel bun

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 12 minutes Total Time: 27 minutes

Servings: 6 burgers


  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. Sweet Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish (not sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Lb. ground pork
  • 1 Lb. ground beef
  • 12 thick slices hearty (marble) rye bread, toasted or six pretzel buns toasted on open side only
  • 6 slices baby Swiss or Havarti cheese
  • 3 or 4 slices of bacon just rendered and not crisp.
  • Whole grain mustard
  • 6 thin slices of tomato
  • Two hands full of Arugula chopped

Beef and Pork burger on RyeDirections

  1. Whisk the egg lightly in a large bowl. Whisk in horseradish, salt and pepper and paprika. Add onion, breadcrumbs and garlic; mix well. Add pork and beef. Use clean hands to mix everything together lightly; do not overmix.
  2. Shape into 6 (5/6 oz.) uniform patties about 1 an inch thick. Place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate up to several hours.
  3. Prepare a charcoal grill for direct cooking or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Put the grill grate in place; let it heat thoroughly.
  4. Toast the bread in a toaster, cut the bacon slices in half, have the cheese near the grill.
  5. Cook the burgers on a med/high grill directly over the heat source. Cover the grill; cook, 5 minutes. Flip burgers carefully remember they are have pork but a touch of pink is OK. Continue cooking, covered, until medium, 4 to 5 minutes. Top each burger with a slice of cheese; cook, 30 to 60 seconds more. Remove from the grill.
  6. Assemble the burgers: Smear the mustard over one side of the toast/bun slices. Top with a burger, then a slice of tomato and two half slices of bacon in an X on top. Put a second piece of toast on top, smooch down a bit and cut sandwich in half and enjoy. Very juice!!!

Wine: Try Barrel 27 Right Hand Man Syrah $16.99


Turkey Burger with Sundried Tomato Caprese and Balsamic Caramelized Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 4 burgers


For the sundried tomato patties:

  • 10 sundried tomatoes
  • 10 leaves basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Balsamic caramelized onions:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the burgers:

  • 4 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
  • 4 buns, lightly toasted on open sides only
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 12 basil leaves

Photo 2 Turkey BurgerDirections

For the sundried tomato patties:

  1. Puree the sundried tomatoes, basil and garlic in a food processor, mix it into the remaining ingredients, form four patties and set aside.

For the balsamic caramelized onions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for a few minutes, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook stirring off so they don’t burn, until they turn a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes, then mix in the balsamic vinegar, cooking until most of it has disappeared and setting aside.

For the burgers:

  1. Cook the pancetta until crispy and set aside.
  2. Heat the grill to medium-high heat and cook the patties, about 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook another 2 minutes and top with the mozzarella slices and cook until it starts to melt, another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Assemble the sundried tomato burgers in buns with pancetta, avocado, patties, balsamic caramelized onions and basil.

Wine – Raimondi Valpolicella $9.99 or go a step up to a Valpolicella Classico


Italian Sausage Burger with Garlicky Spinach

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 burgers


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • Salt
  • 1 Lb. mild Italian sausage removed from casing
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried-tomato pesto – full recipe follows – makes more than needed and is good for 16 burgers
  • 4 good ciabatta style burger rolls, split and toasted on open side only

Photo 3 italian-sausage burgerDirections

  1. In a large skillet, bring 1/4 inch of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 1 minute; drain and press out as much water as possible. Wipe out the skillet.
  2. In the same skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the spinach, season with salt and stir just until coated, about 10 seconds.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Using slightly moistened hands, form the sausage meat into four, 4-inch patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over moderate heat until browned and crusty on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the burgers.


Top with the cheese and grill until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Spread the pesto on the rolls. Top with the burgers and spinach and serve.


Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Servings: Makes 1 /12  cups that will easily take care of 16 5oz burgers so you may want to cut the recipe in half


  • 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes packed in OO
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 plus cup grated Parmesan cheese to taste
  • salt to taste


  1. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and cover with warm water for 5 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In a food processor or blender combine sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts and onion; process until well blended. Add vinegar, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and red wine, and process. Stir in olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt to taste.

Wine: 2014 Parducci Small Lot Blend Zinfandel Zin $14

That’s my Whine and I could be wrong.

Woody Mosgers, cooks, caters, drinks and matches wine and food at

This article also appears in the Forest Park Post, Forest Park Illinois