But you can't just pizza-fy anything now, you crazy hipsters. So relax. Don't go pizza-ing almond paste coated tofu barley bundles and think that's gonna be delicious. I rule that that constitutes as a food crime. So let it be written...........so let it be done. *cue sound of the gavel*
So anyhoo, I've had a few pizza burgers that were less than inspiring and I just really feel like it's something you cannot mess up. Lo and behold, I can assure you, that even the seemingly easiest things can get muffed up by some savage with a jar of dollar store spaghetti sauce. I'm talking to you Stigs (he knows who he is).
So let me save you here. I have created the most divine, comforting and foodgasm worthy pizza burger on the entire planet. Make it. Trust me.
2 TBSP EVOO*
1 minced shallot
2 cloves minced garlic
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 can water
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
pinch hot pepper seeds
s + p*, to taste
1 loaf ciabatta, scooped
2 TBSP EVOO
4 TBSP butter
4 cloves garlic
pinch of salt
1 1/2 lb 80/20 beef (don't skimp here, fat matters)
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/3 cup of the homemade pizza sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil or parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
First, let's start the pizza sauce.** In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and saute shallots and garlic until translucent. Add a pinch of hot pepper seeds (optional). Pour in 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 can of water, italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then leave on a low simmer, crushing tomato chunks with your wooden spoon once in a while. You want this sauce to reduce by half and become thick and chunky. (this will happen in 20-30 minutes or by the time the burgers are ready to be bunned.
Next, tackle the garlic bread bun. Take a nice loaf of ciabatta bread or any crusty italian bread, cut it in half longways and scoop out most of the fleshy part. In a microwave safe bowl, combine EVOO, butter, 4 cloves minced garlic and pinch of salt. Zap until melted completely. Give it a mix and brush all over the hollowed out bread shells. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until lightly toasted and just golden brown around the edges (you want to have some chew - don't murder it so that when you bite into it, it become crust dust - no bueno).
Its burger time! In a medium sized bowl add the ground beef, egg, asiago, minced garlic, italian seasoning, bread crumbs and a 1/3 cup of the pizza sauce. Mix until totally combined. If it feels too dry, add another splash of pizza sauce. If it feels too wet, add a few more breadcrumbs. You are looking for meatball consistency. Divide mixture into four even patties. make an indent in the middle of each patty so the burger doesn't puff up on you.
Heat a cast iron griddle or pan on medium high heat. Cook patties, depending on thickness, 5-8 minutes per side. Set aside to rest.
In the same pan you made the burgers in, crisp up some pepperoni slices and set aside.
Cut the ciabatta sides into 4 equal pieces for 8 pieces total.
On a baking sheet top burgers with a generous helping of pizza sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and chopped fresh basil or parsley. Toast in the 400 degree oven until cheese is gooey.
Add a little more pizza sauce to the bottom garlic bread bun, place the burger on top and enjoy!
As always, get your asses in the kitchen!
* EVOO = extra virgin olive oil
s + p = salt and pepper
** This pizza sauce is amazing on homemade pizza too! If you don't like the big chunks, zap it in a blender or food processor til desired consistency.
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