Marsala Onion Burgers

by Melissa on September 4, 2009

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to make these burgers. Not just because I had a half bottle of Marsala wine to use up, but because the flavor combination of the savory burgers, sharp cheddar cheese and a sweet Marsala sauce sounded amazing. The original recipe calls for mushrooms, but we do not like mushrooms, so I made the sauce with caramelized onions instead. I was so happy with how these burgers came out. I would highly recommend them next time you are looking for something other than a plain old cheeseburger, you won’t regret it. I’ve typed up the recipe below as I made these, but if you like mushrooms, be sure to check out Tara’s blog for the original.


Marsala Onion Burgers

  • 12 oz ground beef (85%/15% works well here) or ground chuck
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium vidalia onion, sliced 
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sweet Marsala
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • crusty French bread baguette

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Shape the ground beef into 4 oblong patties, about 4 inches long each. Drizzle the patties with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; repeat on the opposite sides. Cut the french bread into pieces a little shorter than each of the patties and set aside.

Brown the patties in the skillet on both sides until the burgers are medium rare.  Transfer the burgers to a plate and keep warm; leave the juices in the pan.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the onion and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until onions are very soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and  sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the Marsala and simmer until the Marsala reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the rosemary sprig. Simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Return the burgers to the skillet. Cook burgers until they are medium, turning to coat, about 1 minute. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add 1 oz of cheese to the top of each burger and cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt, about 2 minutes.

When the cheese has melted, remove the burgers from the pan and place on the French bread.  Top the burgers with Marsala sauce and then the top of the French bread. Serve hot.

Source: Adapted from Smells Like Home.

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