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Playing Meat Lover's Burger


  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced inch thick
  • Sprinkle of oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • lb. pancetta, speck or bacon, finely diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef sirloin
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • About 1/8 lb. spicy salami pieces, soppressata bits or hot ham ends, coarsely chopped
  • lb. ham, prosciutto or prosciutto cotto ends
  • 4 thick deli sliced provolone cheese
  • 4 crusty rolls, split
  • A handful arugula leaves
  • A handful basil leaves, torn
  • Thinly sliced red onion


Heat the oven to 350. Arrange the tomatoes on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and season with oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with EVOO and roast for about 40 minutes to tart them up.

In a medium skillet, brown the pancetta (or speck or bacon) in a bit of EVOO and let cool. Place the beef and pancetta in a bowl, then add the garlic, parsley, a little salt and lots of pepper. Grind the salami and ham in the food processor into fine bits; add to the meat.

Form the meats into 4 patties, thinner at the center than at the edges for even cooking. Drizzle the meat with EVOO and cook in a hot cast-iron skillet or a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 8 minutes for medium, flipping occasionally. Top with the cheese and melt. Serve on the rolls, topped with the oven-roasted tomatoes, arugula, basil, red onion and a drizzle of EVOO.