Winey Burgers with Heirloom Tomatoes

"My first word was 'vino'! If you love wine, too, try this burger. A northern Italian red is reduced into a sweet, syrupy sauce that highlights a simple beef patty. Bonus: You can serve the rest of the wine with dinner. Cheers!" –Rach
Publish date:
Winey Burger with Heirloom Tomatoes

Recipe by Rachael Ray

  • Makes 4 burgersServings


  • 1 1/2 cups red wine (about 1/2 bottle; such as Valpolicella or Rosso di Montepulciano)

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated

  • 1 tbsp. (packed) light brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp. butter, cold and cut into small pieces

  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 lb. ground beef (80% lean)

  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or neutral-flavored oil

  • 4 thick deli-cut slices of fontina or provolone

  • 4 sesame seed burger buns or kaiser rolls, split

  • Little Gem leaves or hearts of romaine leaves

  • Thick slices of heirloom tomatoes


1. In a small saucepan, bring the wine, shallot, garlic, and brown sugar to a low rolling boil over medium to medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil until the wine is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the butter and whisk until smooth. Season the sauce with kosher salt and pepper.

2. In a medium bowl, season the beef; mix in half of the red wine sauce and the Worcestershire. Form into 4 patties (thinner in the centers for even cooking).

3. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high. Add the oil, one turn of the pan. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes. Turn the patties over and top with the remaining wine sauce, about 1 tbsp. each. Top each patty with 1 slice of cheese. Cover with foil and cook until the cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes more.

4. Build the burgers with the bun bottoms, lettuce, patties, and tomatoes; season and set the bun tops in place.