Balsamic Bacon Beer Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Mayo
Balsamic Beer Glaze
12 oz Wailua Wheat Ale by Kona Brewing Co. (or any good wheat beer)
1/3 c Colavita balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey
3/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
12 strips thick-cut honey-cured bacon
Roasted Red Pepper Mayo
2 red peppers
1 tsp Colavita extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp kosher salt for peppers
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2/3 c mayonnaise
3 lb ground chuck
½ c balsamic beer glaze, divided
3 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
6 onion rolls, sliced
4 tbs butter, melted
2-3 tbs canola oil for brushing on grill
12 oz butterkase cheese (any semi-soft cow’s milk cheese can be substituted), sliced into six 2 oz slices
12 leaves butter lettuce (approx 5″ diameter)
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the glaze, pour the beer, balsamic vinegar, honey, and cayenne pepper in a grill-safe sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Stir occasionally and boil for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, until it reduces to ½ – ¾ cup liquid. Cover, remove from heat, and let cool.
Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm.
To make the roasted red pepper mayo, rub peppers with the olive oil, then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place peppers over direct heat on grill. Turn peppers occasionally until peppers are slightly charred and soft, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remove peppers from grill and let cool until you can handle them safely. Remove stem, seeds, and outer, charred skin from peppers. Roughly chop peppers and place them into a blender or food processor. Add mayo and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and cover. Set aside.
To make patties, place ground chuck into a large bowl. With your hands, lightly work 4 tbs of the cooled glaze into the meat, being careful not to overwork the meat. Make six patties to fit the bun size. Place patties on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil. With your thumb, press an indention into the center of the burgers. Baste one side of each patty with the glaze. Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper on each patty. Carefully turn patties over and repeat the basting and salt and pepper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Lightly brush cut sides of onion rolls with melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap.
Brush grill rack with canola oil. Place patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook. Turn only once and cook to preference, 5 to 7 minutes for medium. After the patties have been turned, baste once with the glaze. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the onion rolls, cut side down, on the grill during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Remove patties and rolls from grill.
To assemble the burgers, place the cheese-topped burgers on the bottom half of the onion roll. Top the burger with 2 slices of bacon topped by 2 butter lettuce leaves. Spread approximately 2 tbs of the roasted red pepper mayo on the cut side of the top half of the onion roll. Place the top half of the roll, cut side down, on top of the burger and serve.
Makes six burgers.