"French Onion Soup" Burger
• 2 large sweet yellow onions
• 3 sticks unsalted butter
• 1 tsp course ground kosher salt
Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon Demi-Glaze:
• 6oz Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
• 1 cup beef stock
• ¼ cup flour
• 2 medium shallots quartered
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 6 inch square cheesecloth
• 12 inches cooking twine
Gruyére Cheese Stuffed Beef Patty:
• 18 oz fresh ground beef sirloin
• 9 oz fresh ground beef brisket
• 9 oz fresh ground beef chuck
• 2 tsp course ground kosher salt
• 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
• 2 eggs
• 1½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1½ tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp celery seed
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• ¼ cup minced shallots
• 12 oz freshly shredded Gruyére cheese
• 3 medium red bell peppers, roasted, cleaned, & julienned
• 9 oz fresh arugula, washed & spun
Tasty Toasty Bun:
• 6 Onion Buns
• ¾ cup butter
• 12 sprigs fresh thyme
To Caramelize the Onions:
Julienne both onions and place in a stockpot on the grill, cube and add butter. Warm over low heat, as long as available waiting until the onions are a nice golden caramelized color and the butter has all been absorbed. To reach a nice golden caramelized color quicker with hungry guests standing around, start with low heat until the butter is melted, then turn up the heat to medium, stirring regularly, avoiding any burning onions. Remove from heat once golden and caramel in color, and strain off any excess butter. Set aside and keep warm until assembly.
To Build the Demi-Glaze:
In a medium saucepan, on the grill, combine Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon, beef stock, and flour; stir until incorporated. Place the shallots and fresh thyme in cheesecloth and tie with twine into a small purse, leaving on the excess twine. Place the purse into the saucepan extending the twine over the edge, for easy removal. Warm over medium-low heat to a light simmer. Stir periodically, keeping a close eye on the glaze to avoid burning (especially around the edges). This will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes, but watch vigilantly, food is a fickle foe. Reduce to the consistency of Saturday morning’s pancake batter. Remove the shallot and thyme purse, and remove the pan from heat. Set aside, keeping warm until assembly.
To Build the Stuffed Beef Patty:
Using beef sirloin, brisket, and chuck builds a full well rounded beef flavor, yet still adds enough fat, to create a juicy burger, and help the patty stay together. In addition to great flavor, grinding your own meats from whole cuts helps to prevent the spread of bacteria occasionally found in factory packaged ground beef. If you don’t have your own meat grinder, have your local meat department grind it for you, making sure they grind the three cuts of beef altogether, alternating each to fully mix the beef.
In a large bowl gather and combine all ingredients for the patty, except the Gruyére cheese. Mix everything together, handling as little as possible, ensuring juicy, fluffy beef patties. Divide into 6 equal portions (each will be about 6 ounces) slightly flatten out the patty; pack approximately 2 oz of the fresh shredded Gruyére cheese in the center of each patty. Fold the patties over and shape into a juicy, succulent burger, stuffing each patty with fresh shredded Gruyére cheese. Set all patties aside until grilling.
To Prepare the Flavorful Fixings:
Place all three red peppers on the grill; char the entire outer skin on all three of the peppers. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 15 minutes to cool down. Once cooled peel away the skin and clean each pepper, removing the stem and any seeds. Lay each pepper out flat and julienne into thin strips.
Wash the arugula under cold water, spin in a salad spinner. Place in a side bowl, with a moist paper towel over the top, set-aside until assembly.
To Grill and Build a Better Burger:
To prepare the grill, begin by turning the entire grill to high heat. Use a clean grill brush to remove any build up or remaining residue. Cut an onion in half at the equator and skewer one side with a grill fork. Fill a shallow glass with vegetable oil, dip the onion in the oil, use it to brush and oil the grill.
Heat half the grill to medium high heat, and half the grill to medium heat. Place each patty on the medium high heat side of the grill, cook to your own personal preference, cooking each side for approximately 3-6 minutes, about 3½ – 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Not moving or pressing on the burgers while cooking is key to a well-grilled exterior, but keeps the juices in, for a mouth watering center. Allowing the meat to set up without being disturbed also helps the proteins unbind from the metal of the grill permitting the burgers to come off clean and easy. While the burgers are cooking, spread each bun with a generous layer of butter and place on the medium heat side of the grill. Toast for about 3-5 minutes, being careful not to burn. Once toasted transfer to indirect heat to keep warm, but don’t forget about the burgers, make sure to remove them from the grill once they are done cooking.
To build a better burger place the patty on a thin layer of roasted red peppers on the bottom bun. Top the patty with a hefty heap of caramelized onions (can you really ever have enough caramelized onions with French Onion Soup??); pile on a handful of fresh arugula. Spread a generous layer of the Cabernet Sauvignon Demi-Glaze on the top bun, and place on top. Slice the whole burger in half. Use a sprig of fresh thyme, instead of a deli toothpick, for presentation and to hold together each half of the burgers. That is how you build a better burger, enjoy!