Wine Varietal: White Merlot
This burger combines some of my favorite memories of growing up Michigan!One of my favorite memories about growing up in Michigan is vacationing in northwest Michigan as a child during the annual Cherry Festival in Traverse City. You could find cherries made into just about any dish! Battle Creek, Michigan has the nickname “cereal city” thanks to a large cereal manufacturer headquartered there. I love traveling on the west side of thestate and seeing signs of cereal everywhere you go. My third favorite memory is going to “Mexican Village” in Detroit and eating with my family at some of the local Mexican restaurants and visiting the local Hispanic grocery stores. This was long before Mexican restaurants were widely spread throughout. This burger combines cherries, cereal, and some Hispanic flavors into a great Michigan burger!
Cherry Chipotle Glaze:
1 (12oz) jar cherry preserves
1/4 cup chipotles (packed in adobo), seeded & chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup seasoned beef broth with onion (or regular beef broth, if seasoned can not be located)
2 garlic cloves
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup corn flake cereal
1/4 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 pounds ground chuck
1 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 thick-cut slices bacon, finely diced
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup Blue cheese, crumbled
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 good French or Italian rolls, split
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Place cherry preserves, chipotles, ketchup, vinegar, beef broth, and 2 garlic cloves in food processor; process until smooth. Pour into small fire-proof saucepan and place on grill over medium-high heat. Cook about 8-12 minutes or until slightly reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from grill, pour into small bowl, and set aside to cool.
Measure out 1/3 cup of cooled cherry chipotle glaze and place in separate small bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons cilantro. Cover and set aside.
Place cereal in food processor and process until fine crumbs. Add 1/4 cup cilantro and 2 garlic cloves and process until finely chopped. Place ground chuck and dried cherries in large mixing bowl. Add cereal mixture, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. Handling meat as little as possible, work all ingredients together until well combined. Shape into 6 patties to fit rolls. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to cook.
In large fire proof skillet, add bacon and place on preheated grill. Cook about 4-7 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat in pan and drain rest of fat. Add onion to pan and place back over heat on grill. Cook onion 7-10 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. Place bacon and onion in small bowl, cool slightly then add cheese, stir gently to combine.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook about 4-6 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place buns cut side down on the outer edges of grill rack to toast lightly. Also during last 2 minutes of cooking brush glaze over both sides of burger and finish cooking.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of mayo over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a grilled patty, then top with relish, add the top bun and serve.
Makes 6 burgers