Wine Varietal: Merlot
Memories and food are often intertwined.This recipe was inspired by precious memories of long jubilant summer afternoons at Wrigley Field (as well as many other ball fields) and the nostalgic flavors surrounding those memories.
Root Beer Glaze
2 cups specialty Root Beer
2/3 cup best quality barbecue sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
1 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 1/4 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
1 pound freshly ground beef brisket
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot, chilled
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Reynolds Cut-Rite wax paper or Reynolds parchment paper
12 thick slices Applewood Smoked Bacon
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices Real California sharp cheddar cheese
6 large soft pretzel rolls, split
6 teaspoons brown ballpark mustard
1 large deli-style dill pickle, very thinly sliced & slices cut to fit roll
6 slices (1/4-inch thick) ripe Beefsteak tomato
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.
To make the glaze, combine the root beer, barbecue sauce, onion and pepper sauce in a medium, heavy fire-proof saucepan. Place on the grill rack and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Move the pan to the lower heat of the edge of the grill and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced (almost by half) and thickened, about 25 minutes. Set aside 1/4 cup of the glaze for drizzling on the finished burgers.
To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, ground brisket, wine, salt and pepper in a chilled bowl. Mix together using a spoon, handling the mixture as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Scoop the mixture into 6 equal mounds and place on a large sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Using a small square of wax or parchment paper, gently press down on each mound to form individual patties. Gather in and shape the edges as necessary, but do not over-handle.
In a fire-proof skillet placed on the grill rack, cook the bacon until browned and crisp, draining and discarding excess fat. Drain on paper towels. Cut each bacon slice in half and cover to keep warm.
Brush the hot grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook until done to preference (5 to 7 minutes per side for medium), brushing frequently with the root beer glaze. When the patties are almost done, top each with a cheddar cheese slice and close the grill lid. In addition, during the last few minutes of cooking, place the pretzel rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to warm and lightly toast.
To assemble the burgers, spread mustard on the toasted bottom half of each roll. Add pickle slices, a cheese-topped patty, bacon slices and a tomato slice. Drizzle with reserved root beer glaze. Add the roll tops, serve immediately and savor the Grand Slam!
Makes 6 burgers.