Burger with Creamy Roberta Aioli and Pepper Coated Bacon-Tomato Relish

Pairs well with:


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


Creamy Roberta Aioli
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 package (3 ounces) softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon softened butter
2 teaspoons Zinfandel
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon bouquet garni
2 loaves French bread (each about 16 inches long by 3 inches wide)
Pepper Coated Bacon-Tomato Relish
12 slices bacon coated with pepper
3 medium tomatoes, seeds and membranes removed, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Zinfandel
1/4 teaspoon bouquet garni
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beef Patties
1 3/4 pounds ground sirloin beef
1/4 pound bulk pork sausage
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons canned beef broth
1 cup finely chopped button mushroom tops
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons Zinfandel
1 1/4 teaspoons bouquet garni
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, for brushing on grill rack
6 slices (approximately 4 inches by 3 inches) Muenster cheese, each piece cut diagonally
2 – 2 1/2 cups Honey Dijon potato chips
1 cup baby Romaine lettuce leaves



Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make Aioli, combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, butter, Zinfandel, shallots, and bouquet garni in a small bowl; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the buns, cut 1-inch off each end of long French bread loaves, break ends into smaller pieces and blend in food processor to make crumbs; set aside. Cut each French bread loaf into 3 equal pieces to make French buns; split each with a knife. Place in zip-lock bag to keep fresh; lay aside.

To make relish, heat a large, heavy, nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Break bacon into small pieces. Wrap in foil to keep warm; set aside. In a small bowl combine diced tomatoes, olive oil, Zinfandel, bouquet garni and salt; set aside.

To make patties, combine ground sirloin, pork sausage, butter, beef broth, reserved bread crumbs, mushrooms, shallots, Zinfandel, bouquet garni, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handle as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the French bun sizes. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, about 5 – 7 minutes per side or until done to desired preference. During the last few minutes of grilling, top each patty with two slices of Muenster cheese wedges. During last few minutes of grilling, also, place cut sides of French buns down on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread the Aioli mixture on the insides of the warm toasted French buns. Layer the bottom of each roll with an equal portion of potato chips followed by pattie. Drain liquid from relish and stir in reserved bacon pieces. Top each pattie with an equal portion of relish, baby Romaine lettuce leaves and bun top.

Recipe makes 6 burgers.