Wine Varietal: Gewurztraminer
My Maple Bacon Cheddar Burger with Green Apple Slaw was inspired by several trips to lovely Vermont for the fall foliage. The flavors of Vermont – maple, Cheddar cheese and crispy apples – stay with me as much as the memory of the flaming leaves of autumn. I think these tastes mingle pretty well between two toasted buns too!
Green Apple Slaw:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple schnapps
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large Granny Smith apple, halved and cored
2 teaspoons minced, fresh sage
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds ground chuck
1 large shallot, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
9 slices maple bacon
6 thick slices Cheddar Cheese
French’s horseradish-mustard (see note)
6 French hamburger buns
Melted butter for brushing
To make slaw, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, apple schnapps and kosher salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
Cut half the cored apple in matchstick strips and place immediately in dressing so that the lemon juice will keep them from discoloring. Grate the remaining half of the apple directly into the bowl. Add minced sage and red onion slices. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make burgers, place all ingredients in medium bowl and mix together gently by hand. Do not overwork the burgers or the meat will be tough. Divide mixture into six equal portions and shape into round patties, about 1/2-inch thick. With your thumbs, make a slight indentation in the middle to prevent shrinking on the grill. Place in a single layer on a platter and cover loosely with foil or plastic wrap until ready to cook.
Heat the gas grill to medium-high. Place a large, stainless steel skillet on the grate and let it heat for about 2 minutes, then lower heat to medium. Coat pan with non-stick spray and place bacon strips in the pan. Cook until done, about four minutes on each side. Watch closely so strips don’t burn. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to cook bacon in two batches. As bacon is done, wrap in foil to keep warm. Remove skillet and let cool before washing.
Coat the grill grate with non-stick spray and add burger patties. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes and flip. After about 4 minutes, top each burger with slice of Cheddar cheese. While cheese is melting, brush split burger buns with melted butter and toast, cut side down.
To assemble burgers, spread about 1 tablespoon of French’s horseradish-mustard on bottom half of toasted bun and top that with a tablespoon of the slaw. Add Cheddar burger, drape with 1 1/2 slices of bacon and top with about 1/4 cup of slaw. Crown with top half of toasted bun. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 burgers.
Note: French’s Mustard has a new product that mixes horseradish with brown mustard. To make your own, mix 3 parts brown mustard with 1 part prepared horseradish.