Wine Varietal: Pinot Noir
This is truly a hearty all-American beefy burger.The reduced wine and demiglace glaze enrich the natural beef flavor. The recipe features American products: Sutter Home Zinfandel (demonstrating that burgers not only go well with wine, but can be enhanced by the addition of wine in the burger itself), Maytag blue cheese, McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce and, of course, American beef as well as locally grown fresh shallots, sweet onions and Boston lettuce from NYC’s Union Square Farmers Market. The honey is also a local product sold at the farmer’s market. The crowning touch, however, is the smoky caramelized onion slice.
1 cup crumbled Maytag blue cheese
2 cups mayonnaise
3 medium shallots, chopped fine
1 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 T “Better than Bouillon” Beef Base
1 t Worcestershire sauce
½ t McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce
3 lbs. ground sirloin
1 t salt
Scant ½ t freshly ground pepper
Six ½-inch horizontal slices from two large sweet onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T melted butter
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup honey
2 T balsamic vinegar
6 seeded rolls halved
1 small head Boston lettuce
Make sauce by combining crumbled blue cheese with mayonnaise. Set aside.
In a grill with a cover, prepare a medium-hot fire for direct heat cooking.
Place a nonreactive 9 or 10-inch saute pan on the grill and add the chopped shallots and wine. Cook and swirl gently until syrupy. Add beef base, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco Sauce. Sir together and set aside. Let cool. When cool, mix with 3 lbs. ground sirloin. Add 1 t salt and scant ½ t freshly ground pepper.
Place two thin, soaked 6-inch wooden skewers parallel through each onion slice to prevent it from falling apart. Place onion slices on grill and brush with olive oil and butter mixture turning frequently. When onions begin to char, brush with mustard mixture turning once, until bubbly. Set aside.
Form six ½ lb. patties and place on grill until nicely browned for about 5 minutes. Turn over and grill another 5 minutes or until just done throughout, but juicy.
Shortly before burgers are done, place rolls cut side down on grill and toast lightly. Place burgers on bottom halves and top with an onion slice (skewers removed), a lettuce leaf, a generous dollop of cheese sauce and top half of roll. Serves six.