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Maple-Glazed Montreal Burger with Relish Quebecois

I was inspired by the hearty, warm flavors that waft over the tables in ski resorts of Quebec. I spent a winter holiday near Montreal; and ---my parents honeymooned there. These burgers are for Mom and Dad.

Ingredients 

3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons real maple syrup
2 tablespoons Tamari
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon, plus 1 stick, unsalted butter
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided use
2 pounds ground beef chuck
4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, divided use
1/4 cup grated onion, plus 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
2 teaspoons roasted garlic paste (from tube)
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 ounce Applejack, or brandy
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick wedges
1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar, shredded
2 tablespoons Maille Old Style coarse grain Dijon mustard
2 (10-oz) sourdough baguettes, ends removed, cut in thirds and split
2 Belgian endive, leaves separated
6 French cornichons, finely diced
Neutral oil, or grilling spray for grid

Instructions 

1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a medium, grill-proof skillet or saucepan placed on grid, simmer 3/4 cup maple syrup, Tamari, wine, vinegar, coriander and a generous grind of pepper, until thickened and reduced to 2/3 cup. Whisk in 1 tablespoon butter. Reserve.

2. Oil grill rack with vegetable oil, or grilling spray. Combine beef, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, grated onion, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, sage and AppleJack. Form into six 3/4" patties, without compacting the meat. Set aside 10-15 minutes.

3. Brush apples lightly with olive oil; grill a few minutes, without turning, until slightly caramelized. Chop and combine with cornichons, diced onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper.

4. Grill patties on medium-high 4 minutes, turn, brush with reserved glaze, grill 4 minutes longer, turn, brush again with glaze, grill 1 minute, top with Cheddar,, close grill lid and grill 1-2 minutes until patties reach 160F and cheese begins to melt. Blend remaining butter with mustard. Warm baguettes, cut side down, on cooler part of grill. Then, spread cut sides with mustard butter.
Assemble burgers: Place 1-2 endive leaves on baguette bottoms; add patties, and a dollop of relish. Cover with baguette tops.

Comments 

Really wonderful after skiing. Fire up the grill in the winter, it’s a warming experience.
Tip: Grill apples in a grilling basket to prevent them from falling through, if your grill rack is widely spaced.