Brioche Burgers with Maple-Glazed Canadian Bacon, Five-Onion Relish and Creamy Herbed Brie
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup shredded fresh fennel
1/4 cup Sutter Home White Merlot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fennel seed
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Creamy Herbed Brie:
6 ounces cold Brie cheese, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Five Onion Relish:
3 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 pound thinly sliced sweet onion (approximately 1 large)
1/2 pound thinly sliced red onion (approximately 1 medium)
1/4 pound thinly sliced shallots (approximately 4 medium)
1 leek, sliced 1/2 inch, including 2 inches of the green portion
3/4 cup sliced green onion, including green portion
1/3 cup Sutter Home White Merlot
2 teaspoons balsamic fig vinegar (I prefer Flora brand)
Maple-Glazed Canadian Bacon:
1/3 cup Grade A maple syrup (I prefer Made in Vermont)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
12 slices Premium Canadian Style Bacon (I prefer Hormel brand)
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 Brioche Sandwich Rolls, cut in half horizontally
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the patties: Spread the chuck out in a large shallow pan. Sprinkle evenly with fennel, wine, chives, sage, garlic, thyme, fennel seed, salt, and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
To make the Creamy Herbed Brie: Add the cheese to a medium bowl. Mix evenly with the basil, marjoram and thyme. Set aside.
To make the Five Onion Relish: When the grill is ready, heat olive oil in a large non-stick sautÃ© pan on the grill rack. SautÃ© sweet and red onion for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly softened. Add shallots and leeks and sautÃ© for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft. Add green onion and sautÃ© for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is caramelized. Add wine and stir until fully absorbed. Add vinegar and stir until fully absorbed. Remove from grill rack and keep warm.
To make the Maple-Glazed Canadian Bacon: Whisk the syrup and mustard together in a medium bowl. Add bacon slices to bowl and mix so all slices are coated with syrup mixture. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place bacon slices on the grill rack and baste tops of slices with the maple syrup mixture. Cover and cook until the meat is lightly browned on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn slices, baste again with maple syrup mixture and repeat cooking procedure. Remove bacon from grill and keep warm. Scrape grill rack as necessary.
To cook the patties: Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and cook until done to preference, 3 to 4 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place equal portions of cheese on patties to melt slightly and place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers: Place an equal portion of onion relish on the roll bottoms followed by a cheese topped patty and two slices of bacon. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.