Swine and Bovine. With wine.

Wine Varietal: Zinfandel

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I wanted to create a burger that focused on the glorious flavor of a simple, perfectly grilled and seasoned burger patty, but had several complimentary layers of flavors.

Ingredients:

Fig and bacon jam:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound bacon ends and pieces, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup sweet onion, rough chopped
1 tablespoon sliced fresh garlic clove
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped to 3/4 inch
1/4 cup sliced mission figs
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Patties:
3 pounds fresh ground chuck, 80/20 meat to fat ratio
12 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
6 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Lemon watercress salad:
6 cups watercress
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white truffle oil
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Zinfandel aioli:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/2 cup cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Vegetable oil to season grill
6 thick slices of Vermont sharp white cheddar
6 brioche buns

Instructions:

Fig and bacon jam:
Add one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to fireproof pan.
Add bacon.
Place on grill, preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (medium-high heat).
Occasionally stirring, allow bacon to brown and rend fat (about 18 minutes).
Add chopped onions and sliced garlic.
Stir, and cook until onion starts to carmelize (about 5 minutes).
Add tomatoes, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add figs, sugar, and vinegar; stir well.
Allow jam to reduce and thicken, stirring frequently (about 6 minutes, or until the liquid becomes thick and jammy).
Remove pan from heat and keep covered.

Patties:
Wet hands with cool water to make handling beef easier.
Separate ground chuck into six equal patties, making edges slightly thicker than the center. This will create an even patty after cooking. Do not handle the meat any more than necessary, to avoid over-compaction.
Rub each side of each patty with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a small amount of fresh cracked pepper. Keep burgers refrigerated until ready to grill to keep fat solid.

Lemon watercress salad:
Place watercress and torn basil leaves in miking bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to salad and toss.
Add truffle oil and lemon juice to salad, and toss again. Refrigerate until assembly.

Zinfandel aioli:
In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, Sutter Home Zinfandel, chopped basil, and minced garlic.

Brush grill with paper towel soaked in vegetable oil to season grill surface.
Place patties on medium-hot (400 degree) grill. Grill 3 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium, or 4 minutes for medium-medium-well.
Top burgers with jam and one slice of cheddar, and allow the last minute of cook time to melt cheese.

Place sliced brioche buns on outer edges of grill for about 30 seconds to lightly toast.

Place burgers on lower half of bun and top with salad.
Spread a thin layer of aioli on top bun, and place bun on top of salad.