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Lone Star "Triple-B" Burgers with Texas Caviar and Smoked Mozzarella

Although I currently live in Nevada, I grew up in Texas, and I will always carry some Texas state pride with me.

The "Triple B" in the name of these burgers stands for the Blackberry Barbeque Sauce, Beef, and Bacon components. In actuality, these could be "quintuple-B" burgers, if you were to add the Buffalo Mozzarella and the Black-eyed peas in the Texas Caviar, but Triple-B has a better ring to it!

This burger recipe is composed of all things Texan. Blackberries grow extremely well in most areas of Texas, and since Texans are known for their barbeque skills, I turned the blackberries into a slightly spicy barbeque sauce. Texas Caviar is a fancy way of describing a salsa-like dish made from black-eyed peas, and it is a Lone Star State favorite. My favorite mozzarella happens to come from Dallas-based Mozzarella Company, so what better way to top these burgers then with a home grown product? Smoked mozzarella really gives the burgers that extra barbeque essence. Of course, you can’t have a Texas burger without some good bacon, a bold peppery one in this case. These big, berry-glazed burgers will satisfy the appetite of even the hungriest cowboy!

Ingredients 

For the Blackberry Barbeque Sauce:
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed if frozen
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup minced ginger
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For the Texas Caviar:
1 (16-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 green pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4 scallions, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

12 slices thick cut pepper bacon

For the patties:
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Blackberry Barbeque Sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill

For assembly:
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 thick slices smoked buffalo mozzarella or scarmoza cheese (Dallas-based Mozzarella Company makes a good version)
3 cups watercress, roughly chopped

Instructions 

(recipe serves 6):
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

Prepare the Blackberry Barbeque Sauce: Mash the blackberries by either squeezing in a zip-top plastic bag or by placing in a bowl and mashing with a fork. Transfer the blackberries to a medium fireproof saucepan set over the grill rack at medium-high heat. Add the maple syrup, ketchup, ginger, brown sugar, Tabasco, salt, and pepper and stir to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then move the saucepan over indirect heat. Simmer the sauce, stirring frequently, until it has reduced to about 1 3/4 cups, 10-12 minutes. Cool the sauce slightly and then puree the using an immersion/stick blender placed directly in the saucepan (alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.) Return the saucepan to the indirect heat and simmer for 3 minutes more, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

Prepare the Texas Caviar: In a large bowl, combine the black eyed peas, green pepper, grape tomatoes, jalapeno, scallions, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, Tabasco, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly, cover, and chill until ready to use.

Cook the bacon: Place the bacon slices in a large, fireproof skillet set over the grill rack at medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crisp, draining excess fat as necessary. Drain the bacon on paper towels and wrap in foil to keep warm.

Prepare the patties: In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, Blackberry Barbeque Sauce, Worcestershire, Cabernet, shallots, salt, and pepper and mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid overworking it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

Cook the patties: Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and grill until they are browned on the bottoms, 3 minutes. Carefully turn the patties over and brush the browned sides with the some of the reserved barbeque sauce. Continue to grill the patties, turning and brushing with the sauce every 3-4 minutes, until they reach desired degree of doneness. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut-sides down, around the circumference of the grill to lightly toast, and top each of the patties with the smoked buffalo mozzarella (close the lid to melt the cheese, but be careful not to burn the rolls!)

Assemble the burgers: Spread both cut sides of the rolls with a thin layer of the reserved barbeque sauce. Divide the watercress among the bottom halves of the rolls and top with some of the Texas Caviar (drain the caviar against the side of the bowl prior to placing on the roll to avoid a soggy burger!) Top the Texas Caviar with a patty, two strips of bacon (broken to fit the size of the burger, if necessary), and the top halves of the rolls. Serve immediately!

Comments 

A Serrano pepper may be substituted for the jalapeno pepper, if the supply of jalapenos is still limited. Any good smoked buffalo mozzarella may be used in this recipe.