BISTRO BEEF BURGERS WITH CABERNET-CHERRY RELISH, HERB BLUE CHEESE AIOLI AND MAPLE BACON
This bistro inspired burger is packed with so many great flavors.The Cabernet-Cherry Relish cooked on the grill, gives it a taste to be reckoned with. Everything may be prepared ahead of time, if desired. Only the grilling of the burger is the last step before digging into this delightful burger.
1 1/3 cups Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup dried sweet cherries
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
12 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
HERB BLUE CHEESE AIOLI
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
7 tablespoons Maytag blue cheese or your favorite blue cheese, crumbled
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 medium shallot, minced
2 teaspoons Tabasco Pepper sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 ciabatta or brioche rolls, split
2 California avocados, peeled, pitted, thinly sliced
1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
2. To make the relish, place a fireproof skillet on the grill rack and add the wine, cherries, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add honey, thyme leaves and black pepper; blend well. Set aside.
3. To make the bacon, in a small bowl stir together maple syrup, salt and cayenne pepper. Place the bacon in a large fireproof skillet and cook on the grill rack until bacon begins to crisp up, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn bacon over. When bacon is almost done, brush or drizzle with the maple syrup mixture and allow to caramelize. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm.
4. For the herb blue cheese aioli, in a small bowl, blend together mayonnaise, garlic and chives. Fold in the crumbled blue cheee; blend well. Cover and chill.
5. For the patties, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it; mix well. Form the mixture into 6 equal patties to fit the buns.
6. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack; cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of grilling, place the rolls, cut sides down, around the edge of the grill to toast lightly.
7. To assemble burgers, spread blue cheese aioli on the toasted side of roll bottoms. Top with 3 avocado slices, a patty with equal amounts of the relish and topped with 2 bacon slices. Set the roll tops into place. Makes 6 burgers