Black Cat Tavern Burgers

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


2 pounds ground sirloin
6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly ground mixed peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 slices thick-cut hickory smoked bacon
1 large sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
3 tablespoons Colavita canola oil
6 large portobella mushroom caps, stems removed
2 tablespoons Colavita balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dark molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons Colavita balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh orange
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
6 large sesame-seeded burger buns, split
1 1/2 cups mixed baby greens
6 1/4-inch thick large tomato slices
5.2 ounce package herb and garlic soft spreadable cheese



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make patties, combine sirloin, artichokes, Parmesan, cumin, orange zest, peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Handling as little as possible, mix well and shape into 6 patties to fit buns. Cover loosely with plastic wrap until ready to grill.

Place 12-inch heavy skillet on heated grill. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels. Wrap bacon in foil to keep warm.

Drain all but about 2 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet. Add onions to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, 15 minutes.

While onions are cooking, brush grill rack with canola oil. Place mushroom caps on grill. In small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, molasses and Worcestershire sauce. Brush mixture occasionally onto mushrooms and cook, turning once, 3 minutes per side. Remove mushrooms from grill and tent loosely with foil.

Add bell pepper to onions and cook additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from grill, stir in 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Add orange and basil; cover to keep warm.

Place patties on grill rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. Place buns, cut sides down, around outer edges of rack to toast lightly during last two minutes of grilling.

To assemble burgers, arrange equal amounts of greens on each bun bottom. Top each with tomato slice, 2 slices of bacon, mushroom, pattie and equal amounts of onion mixture. Spread cut sides of bun tops with equal amounts of cheese, place atop burgers. Serves 6.