Wine Varietal: Pinot Noir
BALSAMIC BERRY BATH
2/3 cup Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/3 cup Sutter Home Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon
3 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup raspberries or marionberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
ZIPPY SOURCREAM SPREAD
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoon fresh horseradish
2 Tablespoon stoneground mustard
1/2 cup mix of chopped chives, basil, parsley (or other fresh herbs of your choice)
1/3 cup Sutter Home Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 ounce (about 1/4 cup) dried wild mushroom mix, or other dried mushrooms, rinsed and cleaned well
5 ounces Treasure Cave Blue Cheese crumble, or other high quality blue
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup of minced Walla Walla onion, or other sweet onion
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce
2 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon Italian herb mix
1/8 cup smashed raspberries or marionberries (fresh or frozen)
6 generous grindings of black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (blue cheese already added a fair amount of salt)
2 pounds fresh ground chuck
NUTTY BLUE MUSHROOM TOPPING
1/4 cup Colavita Natural Garlic Cooking Oil Blend, or a good olive oil
1/4 cup Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch of coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Six fresh wild mushrooms (matsutake, bolete, chanterelle) if available in stores, or domestic mushrooms (portobello, large white), each roughly the same overall size as the burger, cleaned well
5 ounces Treasure Cave Gorgonzola crumbles, or other good quality gorgonzola/blue
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
Colavita Canola Oil for brushing on grill
6 light whole grain burger buns or 12 slider rolls
1 cup baby field greens
2 small Walla Walla onions, or other sweet onion, sliced thin (if onions are too large for burgers, use centers)
Preheat grill to a medium-low heat.
To prepare the bath, add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, thyme, and berries to a heavy skillet or wide saucepan. Bring to a simmer on a medium-low setting, then reduce to lowest setting. If the liquid continues to bubble, move the pan to a higher level away from the flames or use indirect heat. You want the liquid to reduce slowly without burning. It should reduce to a slightly syrupy liquid – not too thick & sticky – still pourable. It should take 30-40 minutes, but check on it now and then. When it has the right consistency, add the chipotle sauce, stir, and set aside. It will continue to thicken off the heat.
To make the spread, combine sour cream, horseradish, mustard, and herbs. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To make the patties, heat the red wine in a small saucepan until bubbling, remove from heat, then add the dried wild mushrooms. Mix well. Cover and set aside for about 15 minutes, then toss the mushrooms in any remaining liquid. Let sit another 15 minutes. Then remove mushrooms and mince. Reserve liquid. Mix together the blue cheese, garlic, onions, steak sauce, chipotle sauce, herbs, and berries. Add pepper, salt, and reserve mushroom liquid and mix well. Add to beef so ingredients are well distributed, but don’t overmix. Form into 6 burgers or 12 plump slider-sized patties. Refrigerate until needed.
For the topping, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over whole mushrooms in a shallow pan and gently toss until they are well coated. Wait about 5 minutes and toss them some more. Wait 5 more minutes, toss again, then pour off any remaining liquid. In a separate bowl, mix together crumbled gorgonzola, sesame oil, and chopped hazelnuts. Slice the mushroom relatively thickly – about 1/4-inch. Cook on the grill, or in a grill wok, over medium heat, tossing every minute or two. When mushrooms are done, add them to the cheese/hazelnut mix and toss well.
Clean grill and brush with oil. Increase to medium-high heat. Grill burgers for about 4 minutes. Put Balsamic Berry Bath on side of grill using indirect heat. Prior to flipping the patties, let the grilled side of each patty take a dip in the warm Balsamic Berry Bath. Flip patty and grill another 4 minutes, then place in warm Balsamic Berry Bath. Keep warm. Lightly toast buns on low heat, and assemble immediately.
The Assembly: Slather cut side of buns with the spread, place a small handful of field greens on the bottom bun, add a patty, spoon on the mushroom topping, drizzle a bit of the Balsamic Berry Bath on top, add a slice of Walla Walla onion, add top bun. Now take a big bite into the Oregon Wild Side Burger, and try not to moan too loudly!
Makes 6 burgers or 12 plump sliders.