The process of making authentic balsamic vinegar starts with grapes from Lambrusco and Trebbiano, which are then pressed and cooked for several hours on the direct flame until it reduces to a 50% of the original amount. Then, as explained by the CONSORZIO PRODUTTORI ANTICHE ACETAIE it starts the aging process, takes place in a series of small barrels made of different kinds of woods and having decreasing volume, usually kept in the attic of house. Every year, using a special method of decanting, the smallest cask of the sequence provides a few liters of the product, while the reduction due to concentration is compensated for by the addition of cooked grape-must to largest cask. Only after at least 12 or 25 years of maturing does the product reach that surprising balance of aromas and flavor that allows it to bear the title of "PROTECTED ORIGIN DENOMINATION (P.D.O.)" You can discover more about their products and on the production process on their website.
Balsamic Vinegar has such an amazing taste, delicate balance of sweet and sour, a bit astringent, balmy and very soothing. Simply a flavor which is so pleasant that you can combine with so many other flavors. But It's been one of those ingredients that I personally needed to play with it for a while to see which kind of ingredients match with its flavor and whether I like them or not!
I've been in Modena once, for a quick stop and I only had the chance to walk into the city center, it was close to sunset, a very magical moment, watching the city I realized that most of the buildings have the pink, yellow, orange and Sorkh colors (Sorkh is a color between orange, pink & red in Persian). And while the sun were fading in the background the building were changing colors into many other beautiful pinkish nuances. Such a beautiful colorful city, I hope to properly visit soon again. Inspired by such blast of colors, for the sauce I went for a mellow honeyed cream cheese with a touch of earthy beetroot water! I used only seasonal ingredients: pear, radicchio and red onion. I Pickled the red onions in CONSORZIO PRODUTTORI ANTICHE ACETAIE, I loved the way onions pickle in Aceto Balsamico as it's richer than white or red vinegar and it has that sweet taste! Mint leaves in this burger have a very important role, seriously! You can't believe how they change the flavor and taste. That freshness and herby flavor, it really works. Oh, by the way, my Turmeric buns with nigella seeds is classic taste of home - Iran - Kerman, and perfect for this or any other burger recipe. Don't miss it. :)
The recipe is made in the collaboration with CONSORZIO PRODUTTORI ANTICHE ACETAIE di Modena.
for 3 medium burger
- 3 turmeric and nigella seed buns: (click here for the recipe)
- 2 tablespoon of aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena D.O.P aged 12 years
- 3 red onion
- 5 hip tablespoon of cream cheese
- 3-4 tablespoon of beetroot water or 1/4 beetroot puree
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 360-500g ground chuck steak (or high quality minced meat)
- extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small radicchio (Italian chicory)
- 2 pears
- some fresh mint leaves
- Julienne the onions, place them in a bowl, add aceto balsamico di modena aged 12 years and a good pinch of salt, cover and let it rest for at least 3-4 hours.
- The best way to make a perfect burger is to having a high quality minced meat, so if you can, ask your butcher to mince the chuck steak for you.
- At home, divide the minced meat into 3 balls (using wet hands to form them) then press them down a little bit. Place them on a parchment paper, cover and let them rest in the fridge while you're preparing the rest.
- In another bowl whisk together cream cheese, honey and beetroot water, taste to balance the sweetness to your taste - I like mine a little bit sweet.
- Prepare the radicchio by chopping them finely, wash the mint leaves & slice the pears.
- Now you can slice and warm up the Turmeric buns on the oven or in the pan.
- Take the burger patties out of the fridge, drizzle them with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place a non-stick, Iron skillet or frying pan on medium/high heat, when the pan is hot - go on and place the patties in the pan - press them down for about 10 seconds using your hands, then continue cooking them until perfectly brown and colored in one side, about 1 minutes then flip them. This is for a juicy medium raw burger - cook them longer for a well done burger which I don't recommend! ;)
- I made the burgers with this arrangement;
- First lower turmeric bun,
- Then spread beetroot sweet cream cheese
- Add some finely sliced radicchio
- & some mint leaves
- Place the burger patty
- Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Spread with more sweet beetroot cream cheese
- Add the finely sliced pears
- Place the soaked onions in aceto balsamico
- & upper side turmeric bun!
- Enjoy. :)