There's something intrinsically awesome about a pizza burger. Mainly because you don't have to choose between a juicy burger and a gooey pizza—you can eat both at the same time. But not all pizza burgers are created equal. Joe Isidori, chef and co-owner at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer in downtown Manhattan, has created a mouthwatering standout. It features a Pat LaFrieda beef patty, zesty marinara, fresh mozzarella and aged Parmesan, all inspired by his Bronx upbringing spent dining at Arthur Avenue's famed red sauce joints. As a gustatory gift to Maxim's pizza burger-loving readers, Isidori has graciously unlocked the mystery of making the perfect pizza burger at home. Here's how to do it:
Ingredients (serves 4):
4 potato rolls
2 lb. high quality ground beef, divided into 4 patties
4 quarter-inch-thick mozzarella slabs
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 small can crushed tomatoes
Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook until it starts smelling really, really good. Add tomato paste and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
While sauce is simmering, mold ground beef into four 8 ounce patties.
In a hot cast iron pan, cook patties for roughly 3 minutes per side for medium rare.
Place cooked patty on bottom bun, top with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and shaved Parmesan.
Photos by Alexandra Romanoff