Classic Chicago BBQ Burger

Pairs well with:


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


1 bottle favorite barbeque sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 T tomato paste
1 T buckwheat honey
1/2 T grains of paradise, ground
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
4 egg yolks
2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 T chili sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ c whole milk
1 1/2 lb. ground beef chuck
1/4 lb. ground pork
1/4 lb. ground veal
½ c French’s fried onions, chopped
2/3 c crushed saltine crackers
1/3 c minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 bottle favorite barbeque sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 T tomato paste
1 T maple syrup
9 slices thick cut bacon, cut in half, then cooked until crisp and set aside
6 slices smoked gouda
6 brioche rolls
6 T butter-softened
1 T garlic salt



1. For the glaze: Mix ½ bottle barbeque sauce, brown sugar, tomato paste honey, grains of paradise and red pepper flakes in saucepan, cook over medium until bubbles appear, and turn off heat. Set aside.
2. For the burgers: Heat grill to high. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce and milk. Add egg mixture to meat in large bowl along with crackers, fried onions, parsley, smoked paprika, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl.
4. Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, form into 6 even burgers.
5. Brush grill with oil, and cook burgers on first side about 2-3 minutes until well seared. Flip and sear other side. Turn heat off on one half of the grill, leaving the other side on high. Move the burgers to the off side and brush with half the glaze, close lid of grill and cook 3 minutes. Flip burgers, baste with other half of the glaze, close lid and cook to desired internal temp.
6. Mix butter with garlic salt, and spread on the cut sides of the brioche buns. Open grill and grill buns, butter side down, until lightly toasted.
7. Put slice of smoked gouda on bottom bun, and then then arrange bacon slices, 3 halves per bun, overlapping slightly and place burger on top. Top with other half of bun, and serve with shredded lettuce, thin sliced red onion, and ripe tomatoes on the side for people to add as they like.