W has been endlessly mentioning The Pittsburger here and there ever since that one morning he saw it on Rachel Ray Show while working from home.
What’s a Pittsburger? Simple. Take two toasted slices of Italian bread. Top with a piece of thick juicy beef patty and melted provolone cheese. Always provolone cheese. Pile on some freshly baked garlic parsley fries, vinegary coleslaw and then serve with some balsamic ketchup. It’s a burger sandwich inspired by the Primanti’s which is known to be the true taste and best sandwich of Pittsburgh.
The original Primanti’s sandwich was served back in the 1930s. It was a comfort feast for truckers who worked from 3am to 3pm. The secret behind the invention was to make it so convenient for the truckers to eat everything with one hand while the other one steering the wheel. It sure takes a big mouth to bite into one of these big boys.
W misses his Primanti’s, which he had a few times back during his college days, the good old bachelor days that he would talk about once in a while. W likes his burgers too. Pittsburger is two of his best likes put together in one bite.
The true Primanti’s sandwich is filled with fried fries and slices of Italian meat. I think cold cuts would make a great variation of a Primanti’s as well. But for the beef lovers, Pittsburger is the twist to a burger. It tastes like a panini, a burger, and sauerkraut all-in-one. Pair it with a bubbly beer, it brings out all the flavors a Pittsburger has.
W is a happy boy with his Pittsburger. And I taste his happiness in the Pittsburger. But we had to go for a 6 miler the very day as our guilt was creeping up on us.
The Pittsburger from Rachel Ray
2 baking potatoes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick fries
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups cabbage, shredded
celery salt, to taste
1 cup organic ketchup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck or sirloin
3 tablespoons grated or chopped onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
8 thin slices provolone
8 slices Italian bread, about 1/2-inch thick
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
In a large bowl, soak the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry and arrange them on a baking sheet. Spray the potatoes with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the oven temperature to 475ºF and bake, turning once, until very crisp and golden-brown all over, about 30 minutes.
In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Pour over the baked fries.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating up, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and sugar. Add the cabbage, season with celery salt and pepper. Toss and let sit while you make the burgers
In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup and balsamic vinegar.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and lots of coarse black pepper. Form 4 patties that are thinner at the center and thicker at the edges for even cooking. Add to the hot skillet and cook, flipping once, for 8 minutes for medium-rare. Top each patty with 2 slices of cheese and let melt.
Layer the burgers between the bread slices topped with the slaw, fries and sauce. Serve with a cold beer.