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UP-NORTH BURGER WITH CRANBERRY-RHUBARB BBQ SAUCE ‘N MAPLE SYRUP PEPPERED CANADIAN BACON

The use of local ingredients found in Wisconsin was the inspiration for my burger recipe-thus the Up-North burger! Cranberries are harvested near my home, fresh rhubarb is available year-around and maple syrup is tapped locally. Creamy bottled deli style horseradish is a staple item in most pantries in our area and often added to beef when making a burger. I went with Canadian bacon instead of regular bacon and liked the change.

Ingredients 

CRANBERRY-RHUBARB BBQ SAUCE
1/3 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon mild molasses
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Colavita)
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

Vegetable oil for grill rack
Reynolds’s Wrap (non-stick foil)

MAPLE SYRUP PEPPERED CANADIAN BACON
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 slices (1/4-inch thick) deli smoked Canadian bacon

PATTIES
2 pounds ground beef chuck -80/20
1/3 cup finely grated red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
3-1/2 tablespoons creamy horseradish (from bottle)
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 slices (1/4-inch thick) smoked Gouda cheese

6 quality, bakery-baked Kaiser rolls, split horizontally
6 pieces red leaf lettuce, sized to cover roll

Instructions 

To make sauce, coarsely chop cranberries and rhubarb in a food processor. Transfer to a small heavy saucepan and add onion, brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and paprika; stir together. Place on gas grill side burner over medium-high heat; stir until bubbling. Reduce heat to low; gently cook until thickened, about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Set off heat.

Preheat gas grill to medium. Wipe grill rack with vegetable oil.

To make bacon, stir maple syrup and pepper together. Place bacon pieces on grill rack; grill 1-minute or until lightly marked, then turn. Brush grilled side with half the maple syrup mixture. Grill opposite side 1-minute then turn bacon over and brush with remaining maple syrup mixture. Turn bacon again, removing bacon from grill once last piece is turned, placing bacon on Reynold’s non-stick foil. Wrap to keep warm.

Clean grill rack and preheat grill to medium-high.

To make patties, in a large bowl, break beef into small clumps. Mix onion, garlic and horseradish together. Spread over beef using a spatula then gently mix into beef. Form mixture into 6 patties, handling a little as possible. When grill heat is ready, wipe grill rack with more vegetable oil. Season patties with salt and pepper. Place patties on rack; cover and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium or until cooked preference. During the final 2 minutes of grilling, top each patty with a slice of cheese and place rolls cut side down on grill rack to toast until golden. Place foil wrapped bacon on grill rack to warm while removing burgers to a plate.

To assemble, cover roll bottom with a leaf of lettuce, top with a burger, a piece of bacon and smear cranberry-rhubarb sauce over the top. Cover with roll top and serve.

6 burgers

Comments 

Sauce will thicken more while setting off heat and I often make a double batch to use with other recipes-it keeps well. Smoked white cheddar is also a good cheese choice.