Build a better burger |

Build a better burger

Chef Mick RosacciSpecial to the Daily

Making a great burger is easy, the secret is to use high quality ground beef but whats the difference?Most folks think that all ground meats are the same, but in a marketplace that values low price over quality, the difference can be huge!There are essentially two ways for processors to lower prices: 1) Use less expensive and lower quality meats; and2) to minimize labor and distribution costs with technology, bulk processing and mass distribution.Most ground meats in this country come from bulk processors. Prepared in mass quantity, these meats can arrive shaped and ready to cook, or pre-ground and in a tube, ready to be opened and re-ground fresh in house. While these meats are wholesome, few, if any, can possess the great taste and texture of burger ground fresh from high quality beef trimmings and cuts. Chef Michaelangelo (Mick) Rosacci and family own and operate Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods and Tony Rosaccis Fine Catering in Littleton, Centennial, and Castle Rock. For more recipes, visit

Begin with fresh ground meats from a source you trust. 85 percent lean ground beef makes the best burgers. For variety, try adding seasonings, steak sauce, onions, breadcrumbs, or fresh herbs before shaping. To shape burgers for a crowd: Pack all your ground meat tightly by hand into a log shape, then cut into individual portions and refine their shape by hand. Always cook burgers to 160 degree internal, or to medium-well done ground meats have a higher potential for bacteria than other meats.

1 pound ground beef chuck4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce4 pineapple slicessalt12 Hawaiian sweet or small dinner rolls, splitlettuceSauce:1/4 cup barbecue sauce1/4 cup pineapple preserves1 tablespoon packed brown sugar Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl, mix in lightly but thoroughly. Shape into twelve 1/2-inch thick mini patties. Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Place pineapple slices on rack in broiler pan so surface of pineapple is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 3 to 4 minutes, turning once and brushing with sauce. Remove pineapple; keep warm. Place patties in broiler pan so surface of beef is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 7 to 8 minutes to medium (160 F) doneness, until not pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning halfway through and brushing with sauce. Season with salt, as desired. Cut each pineapple slice into thirds. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce; top with burger, then with a pineapple piece. Close sandwiches. Serves 4, or appetizers for about 8 – Finalist in the “Handheld Kid Pleasers” category of the 2003 National Beef Cook-Off

1 pound ground chuck1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or hot1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped1 tsp. minced garlic1 tablespoon minced parsley 2-3 teaspoon fresh minced oregano and/or basil leaves1/2 beaten egg3-4 tablespoons minced fresh onion1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (approx.) Salt and pepper to tasteSharp Provolone cheeseFocacciaPesto sauceFresh tomatoes & basil Peel, seed, chop and drain tomato, then mash by hand into a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, herbs, garlic, egg, ground meats, onions and breadcrumbs – adjusting crumbs to keep the mixture from being too dry or moist. Shape by hand into 6-8 patties. Season lightly with salt and pepper and grill over medium coals to 160 degrees internal temperature, finishing second side with provolone cheese. Split focaccia and toast on grill, remove and immediately brush with pesto sauce. Top with patty, more tomato and fresh basil leaves. Serve with a side of pasta in tomato sauce.Variation: Saut 1/2 chopped onion in olive oil for 5-8 minutes, add a hearty splash of Marsala cooking wine, simmering and reducing until gone. Use these to replace raw onions.

2 hamburger pattiesCarne Asada SeasoningTwo tortillasMinced onion (or grilled onion slices)Grated Chihuahua cheese (or cheddar)1 pint green (or red) chiliOlives, lettuce, chopped tomato, guacamole Season patties with Carne Asada seasoning (or your favorite) and grill to 150 degrees internal. Meanwhile, chop veggies, grate cheese and heat chili. Cut burger in half and arrange in a tortilla. Sprinkle with raw onion, or top with grilled onion and fold in half on one side of a plate. Top with hot chili, sprinkle with cheese, and place under broiler to melt cheese (if desired). Pile the second side of your plate with lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, olives, etc. like a guac salad. Serve immediately. Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods

1 pound lean ground beef2 teaspoons sweet paprika2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed1 1/2 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon onion powder1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper4 egg-bread hamburger buns, split4 leaves Romaine lettuce4 tomato slices1/4 cup prepared creamy ranch dressing2 tablespoons canned French fried onions Combine paprika, thyme, salt, onion powder, and red pepper in an airtight container and shake to blend. Shape ground beef into 4 patties, 3/4-inch thick. Press 1 teaspoon of the spice mix evenly into both sides of each patty. Store remaining spice mix in airtight container for future use. Grill over medium heat or medium coals to internal temperature of 160 F. Line bottom of each bun with lettuce and tomato. Top with burger and spoon ranch dressing evenly over burgers. Sprinkle with French fried onions and close sandwiches.

1-1/2 lb ground beef4 slices (1/2″) sweet onion4 slices (1 oz each) Swiss cheese4 crusty white or whole-wheat rolls, splitLettuce Brew Sauce:1/4 cup beer1/4 cup prepared steak sauce In 1-cup glass measuring cup, combine sauce ingredients. Cover and microwave on HIGH 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until bubbly; set aside.n Shape ground beef into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place patties and onion on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes or until centers of patties are no longer pink and onions are tender, turning occasionally. Season burgers with salt if desired, after turning. Approx. 2 minutes before burgers are done, brush generously with sauce; top with cheese. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce; top with burger, onion and sauce.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User