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Smoky Bacon-Crusted Burgers with White BBQ Sauce

I created this recipe after watching an episode of Paula Dean's show on Food Network. She introduced me to the idea of a white BBQ sauce and I have been hooked on my own version of it ever since. Being from Minnesota, I am a huge fan of summer grilling and my family loves anything with bold BBQ flavors. A twist on a bacon cheeseburger seemed a must, so I created this burger for them with all the bold flavor of BBQ and the creamy tang of white BBQ sauce. It has been BBQ burger heaven at our home ever since.


1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Sutter Home Shiraz
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chile
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 strips good quality smoked peppered bacon
vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 slices Monteray Jack cheese
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 green leaf lettuce leaves


1. Prepare a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill with cover. 2. In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, vinegar and lemon juice; refrigerate until burgers are done. In large bowl, add ground chuck, shiraz, onion, garlic, paprika, sugar, cumin, ancho chile and salt. Handling meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions to fit the rolls. 3. With a rolling pin, roll each strip of bacon to about 10-inches in length. Cover each burger patty with 2 strips bacon, pressing ends of bacon strips gently into the surface of the meat to secure or securing with toothpick soaked in water. 4. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack bacon seam side down to start, cover and cook, turning occasionally until bacon is lightly browned and burgers are desired doneness, about 4 to 6 minutes on each side. During last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling, place cheese on patties to melt and place rolls cut sides down on grill to brown. 5. To serve, spread a generous amount of white BBQ sauce onto cut sides of rolls. Place a lettuce leaf onto bottom roll; top with burger and remaining roll cut side down. 6 burgers


The bacon really does stay in place on the burger if the seams are tucked lightly into the burger patties. Toothpicks are also an alternate way to get the bacon to stay in place if desired.