Georgia Peach BBQ Beer Burger With Peach-Vidalia Onion Chutney, Peanut-Mustard Green Pesto, Pepper Jack Cheese and Deep-Fried Country Ham

Pairs well with:


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

Georgia is known as the “Peach State” because of the luscious peaches we harvest each year. My home is also located within miles of a small town known as Vidalia,
Georgia, home of the sweetest onion you will ever taste. On the other side of my hometown is Plains, Georgia, home of our 39th president, Jimmy Carter, and the annual Georgia Peanut Festival. This abundance of natural products gave me the inspiration for this uniquely delicious burger. I combined fresh, locally-grown produce with my inherently southern love of “greens”, country ham, BBQ and deep-fried anything to create this one-of-a-kind burger. The ingredients in this burger are pure “Georgia”, but the combination of flavors and textures are universally appealing.



1 cup of your favorite beer
2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck

Peach-Vidalia Onion Chutney:

2 large ripe, but still slightly firm, peaches (if not available, substitute 2 cups of frozen peaches that have been thawed)
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onion (if not available, substitute Texas Sweet, Walla Walla, Maui or any sweet type onion)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peanut-Mustard Green Pesto:

2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 cup frozen mustard greens, thawed and squeezed dry (you can substitute any greens you like)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Peanut oil for deep-frying and oiling grill
12 ounces country ham, sliced paper thin (if unavailable, you can substitute proscuitto or serrano ham)
12 ounces pepper jack cheese, sliced thinly
6 soft hamburger buns, such as potato buns, sliced in half


Place a heat-proof pot on the grill rack over medium-high heat. Pour in the beer and simmer until the beer has reduced down to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Combine
the beer, BBQ sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup of the BBQ mixture to baste the burgers. Combine the remaining BBQ mixture with the ground chuck and mix gently just until well incorporated.
Shape the meat into six equal patties about the size of the buns and slightly thinner in the middle. Cover the patties and set themaside until ready to grill.

To prepare the chutney, preheat the grill to medium-high. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Oil the grill and place the peaches, cut-side down, on the grill rack. If using frozen peaches, place them in a grill basket. Grill 4-5 minutes until the peaches have softened slightly and have nice grill marks. Remove to a plate to cool. Raise the grill temperature to high. Place the jalapeno on the grill and grill until the skin has blackened on all sides. Remove from the grill, place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Once the peaches have cooled, peel and dice them into 1/4-inch dice. Remove the blackened skin, the seeds and the stem from the jalapeno and chop it finely. Combine the peaches and jalapeno in a mixing bowl. Add the lime zest, lime juice, honey and salt and toss well. Cover and set to the side until ready to assemble burgers.

To prepare the peanut pesto, place the garlic cloves and oil into a heat-proof skillet on the grill rack over low heat. Cook the garlic 4-5 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the heat and cool. Combine the garlic cloves, oil, peanuts, greens, salt and cayenne pepper in a food processor and process until it forms a paste.
Cover and reserve until ready to assemble the burgers.

For the deep-fried ham, heat 1-2 inches of oil in a deep pot on the grill rack over medium-high heat. Drop the ham in the hot oil for 1-2 minutes until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve until ready to assemble the burgers.

When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grill rack and place the patties eveny across the grill. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip the burgers and baste them with the remaining BBQ mixture. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until
desired doneness. Layer on the cheese during the last 1-2 minutes of cook time to melt. Place the buns, cut-side down on the edges of the grill during the last 1-2 minutes of cook time to lightly toast them.

To assemble the burgers, spoon the pesto onto the bun bottom. Top with a burger, a spoonful of chutney and the crispy ham. Top with the bun top and serve.