Wine Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
To build a better burger, I have selected to showcase cranberries one of the few crops native to New England.
Most associate cranberries with Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, they have come a long way from their humble beginnings in the bog. With their associated health benefits and availability in various forms, cranberries are an integral part of not only New England’s regional cooking but America’s as well. With so many ways to enjoy cranberries, these tiny berries are a pantry staple and a year-round favorite – not just for savoring at the holidays.
1/2 cup Sutter Home Cabernet
1/3 cup ketchup
2 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
3 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup jellied cranberry sauce, mashed
2 Tablespoons Colavita olive oil
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced shallots
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 pounds Johnsonville All natural Ground Hot Italian Sausage
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 cup finely crumbled cornbread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tablespoons Colavita Olive Oil, for brushing the grill
6 slices Vermont white cheddar cheese
6 quality hamburger rolls, split
6 Tablespoons soft butter
3 cups baby arugula leaves, washed and dried
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Pour Cabernet into a flame-proof saucepan. Place on grill to simmer and reduce in half, about 15 minutes.
In a small food processor, combine ketchup, dry mustard, dark brown sugar, cranberry sauce and 2 Tablespoons of the Cabernet reduction. Process 30 seconds to blend.
Place olive oil and butter in a flame proof skillet on the grill to warm. Sauté shallots and cranberries until soft, about 7 minutes. Swirl in remaining 2 Tablespoons of the Cabernet reduction; heat through. Remove from grill and cover with foil to keep warm.
To make the patties, combine the ground hot sausage, ground pork, cornbread crumbs, salt and 1/4 cup of the cranberry ketchup. Handling as little as possible, shape into 6 patties. Brush grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack. Brush with the cranberry ketchup. Cover; cook, turning once and basting often with the cranberry ketchup. About 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium, or longer if one desires well done. With about 2 minutes left to grilling open the cover and top burgers with the slices of cheddar. Close the lid for about a minute to slightly melt the cheese.
Open the lid, place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast to a light golden brown.
To build the burgers, spread the butter over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, line with arugula leaves, a patty, top with Cabernet shallots and cranberries. Add the roll tops. Serves 6