Bavarian Burger with Tilsit Cheese & Apple Relish

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


Apple Relish:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups grated peeled and cored apples
1/3 cup minced onion
1/3 cup finely diced Cornichons
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
12 strips apple-wood-smoked bacon
2 pounds ground pork 
pretzel rods, processed to ½ cup coarse crumbs
1/3 cup Shiraz
3 tablespoons horseradish
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 slices Tilsit Cheese
1/2 cup German mustard
6 Poppy seed Kaiser rolls



• Prepare a medium fire in the charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium. • To make the relish, add vinegar and sugar to a small, heavy fire-proof saucepan. Place saucepan on the grill rack and heat the vinegar high enough to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, cool slightly and pour into a medium bowl. Stir in apples, onion and cornichons, celery seed, pepper and salt. Cover and set aside. • To cook the bacon, place the strips in a fire-proof skillet and cook on the grill rack, draining and discarding excess fat, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain well. Set aside. • Prepare a medium-high fire in the charcoal grill, or increase gas grill to medium-high. • Spread the pork out in a large shallow pan. Evenly distribute pretzel crumbs, Shiraz, horseradish, pepper and salt over the meat. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and, with cupped hands, toss one portion of the meat back and forth, from hand to hand, to form a loose ball. Pat meat portion lightly on a flat surface and shape to form a burger to fit the rolls. Press center of patty down with fingertips to create a slight indentation in the center of the patty. Repeat with remaining meat portions. • When the grill is ready, brush the grill with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place 1 slice of Tilsit cheese on each patty, and place rolls, cut sides down, on the outer to toast lightly. • To assemble the burgers, spread an equal portion of the mustard on the roll tops. On each roll bottom place 2 bacon strips, a patty and an equal portion of the apple relish. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.