Angus Beef Burgers with Peppadew Pesto, Maple-Mustard Bacon & Lemon-Apple-Arugula
2 cups trimmed peppadew peppers (drained if in brine)
1/2 cup toasted roughly chopped walnuts
4 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup walnut oil
2/3 cup finely shredded Asiago cheese (1 oz. wt.)
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I prefer Lea & Perrins brand)
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel wine
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/2 pounds ground Angus chuck, 80/20
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons granulated maple sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
12 slices applewood-smoked bacon
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon olive oil (I prefer Colavita Liminolio)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup cored, julienned Granny Smith apple
6 thin slices fresh red onion, quartered
3 cups fresh baby arugula/baby spinach blend (2 cups arugula to 1 cup baby spinach)
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 Kaiser rolls, split (rolls with a slightly chewy crust and a tender interior)
• Prepare a medium indirect heat fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium.
• To make the pesto, add peppers, nuts, garlic and thyme to the bowl of a food processor. “Pulse” in the walnut oil until peppers and walnuts are coarsely chopped, about 6 to 8 pulses. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl, stir Asiago, pepper and salt and set aside.
• To make the patties, mix together Worcestershire sauce, wine, thyme, garlic, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Spread the chuck out in a large shallow pan and, using a fork, evenly mix sauce mixture into meat. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
• To prepare the bacon, in a small bowl, mix together mustard, maple sugar and cumin. Lay bacon strips on a sheet pan lined with foil and place pan on grill rack. Internal grill temperature should be 375ºF. Close cover and cook bacon for 18 to 22 minutes, draining as necessary. Evenly spread slices with half of the mustard mixture and cook, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes. Dab or “mop” bacon with remaining mustard sauce, close cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes longer or until bacon is crisp and the sauce is firm and caramelized. Cut slices in half crosswise, tent with foil and keep warm.
• Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
• To make the slaw, whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard and pepper in a large bowl. Evenly mix in apple, onion and arugula/spinach blend, cover and refrigerate.
• To cook the patties, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover and cook, turning once, until cooked to preference, 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, add 4 bacon slice halves to each burger and place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
• To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom place an equal portion of the peppadew pesto followed by a bacon-topped patty and an equal portion of apple-arugula mixture. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.