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Northwest Noir Burger with Wild Mushrooms and Oregon Blue

Living in Oregon, I've come to love three delicious things here--Pinot Noir wine (we make some superb ones), our wealth of wild mushrooms and luscious cheeses, like Rogue River Creamery's Oregon Blue. My recipe is a take on the great regional flavors of the dark and savory stew, Beef Bourguignonne. The twist is, of course, mine is a burger, and uses my own regional flavors--Pinot Noir instead of Burgundy wine and the dark, smoky flavor of dried wild mushrooms. Add in salty Oregon blue cheese, and a dark rye bun, and you've got a serious burger noir! Note: I often make my own dark rye buns(I like the flavor and the noir theme), or get them from a local bakery, but these burgers are delicious on whole grain sourdough buns, which are easier to find.

Ingredients 

Noir Patties
1 oz mixed, wild dried mushrooms, finely ground in a coffee grinder, (half for the patties, half for the noir sauce)
3 large cloves garlic, peeled, quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, (1/2 teaspoon for the patties, 1 teaspoon for the noir sauce)
1 small carrot, peeled, ends removed, cut into 1" chunks
2 pounds ground beef, 15-17% fat
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, (1 1/2 teaspoons for the patties, 1/2 teaspoon for the noir sauce)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, (1/2 teaspoon for the patties, 1/2 teaspoon for the noir sauce)
1 bottle Sutter Home Pinot Noir, (3 tablespoons for the patties, the rest for the noir sauce)
Noir Sauce 1 medium white onion, peeled, chopped fine
5 large Portobello mushrooms, gills scraped off, (1 finely diced for the sauce, 4 whole for garnishing)
Eight 1/4" thick slices pancetta, (2 slices diced fine for the sauce, 6 whole for garnishing)
15 oz can no-salt beef broth
Half the ground, dried mushrooms
Remaining Sutter Home Pinot Noir (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon thyme extra virgin olive oil for brushing the grill, mushrooms and buns
Remaining 4 Portobello mushrooms
Remaining 6 slices pancetta
6 dark rye buns, or whole grain sourdough if unavailable
6 tablespoons Grey Poupon Spicy Brown Mustard
9 oz Blue Cheese

Instructions 

Heat gas grill to medium high. To make the noir patties, in a small food processor, place half the dried ground mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and carrot. Use on/off turns to finely chop all together. Scrape mixture into a large bowl. With fingers, gently crumble in the ground beef. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 3 tablespoons Sutter Home Pinot Noir. Work gently with your fingers to combine. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over a dinner plate. Form burger into bun-sized patties, being careful not to compact the meat. Lay on the dinner plate and cover with more plastic wrap. Set aside. To make the noir sauce, heat a large cast iron skillet or barbeque-safe pan on the grill. When hot, add chopped onions, diced Portobello and diced pancetta. Cook stirring occasionally, until pancetta and onions are nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully add beef broth, remaining dried mushrooms, remaining Pinot Noir, and 1 teaspoon thyme. Close the grill hood and cook, stirring often, until thickened and reduced, 15-20 minutes. Add the 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Keep sauce warm. While sauce reduces, prepare the Portobellos, pancetta and buns. Brush remaining four Portobellos with oil on both sides. Brush the grill with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill and cook with the lid closed for about 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook 3-4 minutes longer with the lid closed until the mushrooms are tender. Remove to a cutting board and slice mushrooms 1/4" thick. Wrap in foil and keep warm. Oil grill and place on the six slices pancetta. Grill, turning once, until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm. Brush buns with oil and place cut side down on the grill. Grill about a minute until slightly browned. Wrap in foil and keep warm. Brush grill with oil again. Place patties on the grill. Grill about 4-5 minutes per side, turning once, for medium. Brush with noir sauce after turning. While burgers cook, prepare buns. On the cut side of the bun tops, spread each with 1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Spicy Brown Mustard. On the cut side of the bun bottoms, spread on some of the noir sauce. Divide Portobello slices on top of the sauce. Lay pancetta slices on next, followed by the patties. Divide the remaining noir sauce over the patties and crumble blue cheese over. Top with mustard-coated bun tops. Makes six burgers.