Grilled Plum Barbeque Burgers with Pepper Bacon and Pickled Okra

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


1 large Vidalia or Walla Walla sweet onion (about 1/2 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
1 fresh jalapeno chile
1 pound firm-ripe black plums, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt

2 pounds ground chuck
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

12 slices peppered bacon

12 spears pickled okra, well drained and split lengthwise

6 egg bread hamburger rolls, split


Cut the blossom end off of the onion and then cut it in quarters from top to bottom, leaving the stem ends attached. Remove the papery outer skins. In a small mixing bowl, toss the onion with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Heat a gas grill to medium high, and brush the grill grate with oil to coat. Grill the onion quarters until the outside are slightly blackened and the interior has softened. Remove from the grill to a plate to cool. Place the jalapeno chile and the plums on the grill, with cut sides down on the plums. Grill until the plums have started to develop grill marks and the chile is beginning to char, turning once. Remove to the plate until cool enough to handle. Remove the stem ends from the onion quarters and from the jalapeno, then place the grilled plums and vegetables in a blender. Add in the tomato paste, white wine vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, and teaspoon of salt. Blend until fairly smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, break up the ground chuck and sprinkle with the teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of smoked paprika. Add a cup of the cooled plum sauce, and fold the mixture together with your hands. Divide the meat into six equal portions and form into patties. Place the patties on a platter and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to firm them up before grilling.

Place a 12-inch, grill-safe skillet on the gas grill, and heat the grill to medium-high. Cook the peppered bacon until crisp and drain well on paper towels.

Add the burgers to the grill and cook for about five minutes per side, or until medium-rare, flipping once. During the last two minutes of cooking, spoon some of the remaining plum barbeque sauce over the tops of the burgers, and lightly toast the hamburger buns.

To assemble, place a sauce-topped burger on each toasted hamburger bun, and top with two slices of bacon and two of the split okra spears. Top with bun tops and secure with sandwich picks, then slice in half and serve. Repeat. Makes six burgers.