Eight ingredients. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a weeknight feast for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
For those with “a cozy stew sure sounds ideal” aspirations but an “I got home way too late to spend three hours braising something” time budget, try this compromise: a quick and easy burger recipe that borrows the ingredient list from an osso buco classic in the WineSpectator.com archives.
Here, a kicky mix of parsley, garlic, anchovies and lemon zest (called gremolada) tops an all-beef patty on a toasted ciabatta roll. A simple grated carrot salad alongside adds a happy zing of color. The whole thing comes together in less than 20 minutes and doesn’t require a tremendous degree of precision; the rustic texture that comes from roughly chopped ingredients in the parsley mix is a net positive.
When choosing a wine, look for something a little lighter and more acidic than what’s recommended for most hamburgers; the punchy gremolada mix will clash with a big, bruising wine. Going back to the original osso buco recipe for pairing inspiration, we tried this dinner with a few reds from northern Italy and Tuscany, and liked them all. A hat tip goes to the wild card in the mix: An unusually dark Priorat rosé from producer Buil & Giné was in sync with the garlic, the char on the beef and the touch of iron that comes with medium-rare, but was just maybe a touch too shy for the burger. A Chianti Classico was the favorite—acidic and clean-tasting against the beef, but with a solid foundation of fruit that hung in even after tasting the parsley mix.
Pair with a Chianti from Italy such as Castello Banfi Chianti Classico 2008 (88 points, $13)
Total Time: 20 minutes
Approximate Food Cost: $22
For the burgers:
For the carrot salad:
For the burgers:
1. Form the ground beef into 4 round patties at 1/2-inch thickness. Season with salt and set aside to rest.
2. Mix the parsley, anchovy fillets, garlic and lemon zest together with 1/2 cup olive oil. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
3. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half to form buns, then toast them, either on a skillet or in the oven.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef patties and cook until they reach the desired level of doneness, 2 to 3 minutes a side for rare, 4 minutes a side for medium and 5 to 6 minutes a side for well done. Remove the patties to a cutting board or plate and let them rest for 5 minutes.
5. To serve, assemble the burgers on the ciabatta rolls with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the parsley mixture on top. Serves 4.
For the salad:
1. Grate the carrots using the largest holes on the grater. Toss with the shallots, 3 tablespoons olive oil and half of the juice of the lemon from the burger recipe. Season with salt to taste and serve.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions