Wine Varietal: Zinfandel
Having recently relocated to Colorado, I was quickly impressed by the pervasive use of healthful, organic foods and Boulder’s recognition as America’s “Foodiest Town” by Bon Appetit Magazine (2010). The ingredients in this burger creation are fresh, organic and representative of diverse global influences that fuse western tradition with Colorado’s incredible adventurous spirit! This unique blend of sweet, pepper and spice combines to transform hamburger into a tangy beefy sensation that can be enjoyed by all!
5 large Medjool dates (organic)
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 Tablespoon mustard
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
12 strips Thick sliced Applewood smoked peppered bacon
1 large sweet Vadalia onion (or 2 medium)
1 red pepper (or 2 medium)
1 teaspoon Raw Agave Nectar (organic)
1 teaspoon raw sugar (organic)
2 – ¼ pounds ground chuck (80-85% lean)
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon dark 100% cocoa powder (not sweetened)
1 Teaspoon allspice
1 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Cup shredded Apple-Smoked Gouda cheese (organic)
6 Slices Apple-Smoke Gouda cheese for topping (optional)
6 Plain hard roll buns (sliced); egg-brushed tops with soft texture inside
Pit dates and chop into small pieces. In small heavy pot combine molasses, ketchup, mustard and vinegar; mix well. Add chopped dates. Cook for approx. 5 minutes over medium low heat stirring frequently and mashing dates into mixture with wooden spoon on side of pot. Set aside and allow to cool. Place bacon in heavy skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Remove bacon when crisp (with a slight bit of “chew” left) and drain on paper towel. Remove bacon drippings, retaining about 1 tablespoon or enough to cover bottom of skillet. Add oinons. Cook over medium heat for several minutes. Add red pepper. Cook for several minutes. Spread agave and sugar over mixture. Continue carmelizing mixture by scrapping and flipping occaisionally, until crispy and brown (about 15 minutes). I prefer to not rush this process!). Transfer to bowl and cover to retain heat for topping burger.
Place ground beef in large mixing bowl. Mix paprika, cocoa powder, allspice and salt in small bowl. Spread mixture over beef. Add cooled date mixture. Add shredded cheese. Mix with large spoon (do not over-handle). Form patties into ball with cold wet hands (six portions).Gently flatten. Make a slight depression (about 1/4″ deep) in center of patty about silver dollar size using bottom of small jar or thumb; this will maintain burger flatness during cooking and allow for a large heaping of carmelized onions and peppers. Brush grill with light coating of oil and pre-heat. Cook burger patties over medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes on the first side and about 4minutes on the flip side. Add optional Gouda slice last minute of cooking. Gently toast buns on upper rack of grill. Remove patties and cover briefly with aluminum tent after removal from grill to bring out the juices! Assemble burgers on toasted buns with carmelized onion/pepper topping, bacon, and romaine leaves. ENJOY!!