RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Big Red Cornhusker Burgers

In Nebraska, we call ourselves the Cornhusker state, not only because corn is our
number one crop, but also because we are proud of our statewide obsession with
Nebraska “Big Red” Cornhusker sports. I’ve heard that cattle outnumber people 4 to 1
in our state, which, as you can probably gather, means we are also one of the top
producers of beef in the United States. When you combine the great foods of Nebraska
and Big Red sports, we often end up with plenty of game day food fests that center
around smokin’ hot grills full of juicy Nebraska beef. This burger is an homage to
great rivalries, (especially cooking ones) corn, beef and that good eating that
Nebraska is famous for. Big Red sports and burger fans across the country unite: this
burger is the tops. Go Big Red!

Ingredients 

Smokin’ Hot Big Red Sauce:
1/3 cup smoked chipotle Tabasco
2/3 cup Chili Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sutter Home Merlot
Barbecued Onions:
3 large yellow onions, skinned and cut into thick slices
1 1/2 Tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
6 Tablespoons Smokin’ Hot Big Red Sauce, divided
3 slices thick cut bacon
Cheesy Corn Spread:
2 large ears fresh yellow corn, with husks and silks removed
3 teaspoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons finely chopped roasted red bell pepper
5 ounces soft, mild, fresh goat cheese
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
Patties:
chopped barbecued onions
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup corn tortilla crumbs (in the bread crumb section of the store)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 corn dusted Kaiser rolls, split
6 large slices red beefsteak tomatoes

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the Smokin’ Hot Big Red Sauce: In a small bowl whisk together the Tabasco,
chili sauce and wine. Set aside.

To make the Barbecued Onions: Brush the onion slices with 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
and place on the grill rack or in a large grill basket. Cook with grill covered for 5
minutes. Brush slices with 1 Tablespoon of the Big Red Sauce and continue to cook,
occasionally turning slices and basting with another 2 Tablespoons of the sauce, for
6 to 10 more minutes or until onion is charred and very soft. While onions cook,
place bacon in a large fire-proof skillet and cook alongside onions on the grill
until crisp. Drain bacon well on paper towels. Remove onions from grill and cool.
When cool enough to handle, finely chop 1/3 of the onion. Place in a large bowl, stir
in 1 Tablespoon Big Red Sauce, and set aside. Separate remaining onion slices into
rings and toss with 2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce. Finely crumble bacon over the onion
rings and toss to combine. Set aside wrapped in foil to keep warm.

To make the Cheesy Corn: Brush corn with 3 teaspoons olive oil and grill for 10
minutes, turning frequently, until kernels are softened and slightly charred. Cool and cut kernels from cobs. Place in a medium bowl along with the roasted red bell
pepper, goat cheese and mayonnaise. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate until serving.

To make the patties: Into the bowl with the chopped barbecued onions add the ground
chuck, tortilla crumbs, salt and pepper. Mix well, handling as little as possible,
and form into 6 patties sized to fit the rolls. With the fire still at medium-hot or
medium-high heat, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the
rack, cover and cook, turning twice and basting cooked sides frequently with the
remaining Big Red Sauce, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for
medium. During the last few minutes of patties cooking, place the rolls cut sides
down on the outer edges of the grill rack to lightly toast.

To assemble burgers, onto the bottom buns spread equal amounts of the Cheesy Corn.
Top each with a cooked patty, a tomato slice, equal amounts of the barbecued onions
and a bun top. Adjust television to the latest Husker game. Sit back with a glass of
Sutter Home Merlot in one hand and the burger in another, and enjoy the taste of
victory.