Wine Varietal: Merlot
As a NW resident, we spend much time on the Pacific Coast particularly in an area called Grayland Beach which calls itself the Cranberry Capital of the nation, no wonder because there is an Ocean Spray plant there. In the area they have everything cranberry, including the typical jams to the less obvious cranberry jerky. This is a recipe that celebrates this unique fruit by pairing it with a strong seasoning of rosemary and a Pacific NorthWest rising export, a fine merlot or cabernet. (OK, Sutter Home will be just fine). Of particular note is that you get a very big taste from not a lot of ingredients or expenditure of time. The taste is uniquely NorthWest.ENJOY!
2 lbs of ground chuck
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary and six small sprigs
1 and a 1/2 cups of canned whole cranberries
one half cup merlot or cabernet
1 cup of chopped pecans
12 ozs of softened cream cheese
6 sesame seed buns, split
1 head of red lettuce, washed
– Combine ground chuck with salt, pepper and rosemary. Mix well.
– Divide into six equal size patties; cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
– Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
– Combine cranberries and wine in a small heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Stir until liquid is fairly reduced and set aside.
– Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5 minutes on each side for medium..
– Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
– Return cranberry mixture to heat and add pecans. Stir until well combined.
– Spoon cranberry mixture on top of patties and cook covered for one additional minute
– Remove buns from heat. Spread 1 oz of the softened cream cheese on either side of the toasted bun
– Put one red lettuce leaf on the bottom bun
– Put pattie on top
– Top with extra rosemary as garnish as desired
– Cover with top of bun