Big Beef Cheddar-Peppercorn Burgers with Sangria Spiked BBQ Sauce
1 lemon cut into thin slices (remove any seeds)
1 orange cut into thin slices (remove any seeds)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bottle (750 ml) Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/2 cup brandy
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Vidalia onion, 1/2 finely chopped and 1/2 cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3/4 cup bold & spicy steak sauce*
1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Oil to brush the grill rack
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground Tellicherry peppercorns, divided
2 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
8 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cut into 6 equal sized slices
6 romaine lettuce leaves,
6 Onion Rolls, split
To make the sangria, place the lemon slices, orange slices and sugar in a large pitcher; stir to combine and release some of the juices from the fruits. Stir in the bottle of Sutter Home Zinfandel and the brandy. Chill in the refrigerator or on ice for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Heat the two tablespoons of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a skillet or small saucepan on the preheated grill (be sure your pan does not have a plastic handle, as it may melt). Add the finely chopped onions and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, whisk in 1/2 cup of the sangria-just the liquid (chill the remaining to enjoy with your burgers!), cook for one minute and then stir in the 3/4 cup of steak sauce, 1/4 cup of the Grey Poupon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the ground peppercorns; Cook, stirring occasionally until thickened and reduced by about 1/3– about 10-15 minutes. Cover loosely with foil until ready to use.
Lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Carefully place the onion slices on the hot grill rack. Grill, turning once for 15 minutes or until nice grill marks are visible and the onions are tender. (You may want to use a vegetable rack or oil coated foil, but if placing directly on the grill, just be careful not to let any fall through the rack). Remove and cover loosely with foil.
To make the patties, combine the 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef chuck, the remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and the remaining teaspoon ground peppercorns. Form the meat into 6 equal sized patties shaped to fit the rolls.
Brush the grill rack lightly with additional oil if necessary. Place the patties on the hot grill rack. Grill the patties in a covered grill for 4 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce and set aside. Flip the patties, using a spatula, and generously brush the cooked side of each with some of the remaining BBQ sauce. Cook an additional 4 minutes (in a closed grill). Using a spatula flip patties again and brush other side with BBQ sauce. Top each burger with a slice of the cheese. Arrange rolls around the edges to lightly toast. Close the grill for an additional minute to melt the cheese.
To serve, arrange the romaine lettuce on the bottom half of the rolls (cutting as necessary to fit rolls). Top the romaine lettuce on each with a cooked patty, cheese side up. Top each with the grilled onions, evenly dividing. Drizzle the reserved 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce over the onions and patties, evenly dividing. Top with the remaining bun halves.