Horsey Burgers with Maple Bacon and Quick Garlic-Dill Pickles

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.

I love the taste of a good horseradish sauce with beef, so I really wanted to recreate that in a burger.


Quick Garlic-Dill Pickles:
3 Kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick at an angle
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup yellow onion, grated

Horseradish Spread:
2/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons prepared white horseradish
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 pounds ground beef chuck
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Spicy Maple Bacon
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon Tabasco Pepper Sauce
12 slices thick-cut hickory smoked bacon

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 good-quality hamburger buns, split
6 romaine lettuce leaves, trimmed to fit the buns


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the pickles, combine cucumbers, dill and bay leaf in medium bowl and toss together. Combine vinegars, salt, sugar, garlic, and onion in a small fireproof saucepan. Place on the grill rack or on a side burner (if available) and heat to boiling, whisking until sugar dissolves. Pour hot liquid over the cucumbers, making sure cucumbers are immersed in the liquid. Cover and refrigerate until assembling burgers.

To make the spread, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.

To make the patties, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Form the mixture into 6 equal patties to fit the buns, cover, and refrigerate until ready to grill.

To make the bacon, mix maple syrup and pepper sauce in a small bowl. Heat large fireproof skillet on the grill. Place the bacon in the skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until one side is crispy. Using tongs, flip slices over. When bacon is crispy, transfer to a plate. Drizzle with maple syrup mixture. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut sides down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a portion of the horseradish spread over the cut sides of the bun tops. Place four pickles on each bun top. Place a lettuce leaf on each bun bottom, and top with a patty. Place two slices of bacon on top of each patty, breaking the bacon to fit if needed. Add the bun tops and serve.

Served with: White Merlot