Inside-Out Pimento Cheese Burgers

Pairs well with:


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


1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 2 ounce jar pimentos, drained and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
18 slices bacon
2 medium Vidalia onion
2 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons salt, divided
2 pounds ground chuck
1/3 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 sesame seed hamburger buns, split



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover. In a small bowl, blend together mayonnaise, pimentos, and Tabasco sauce; set aside. Heat large cast iron or other fire-proof skillet on grill rack. Cook bacon in skillet until it just begins to crisp; remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons liquid from skillet. Cut onions in half, then in half-ring slices 1/4 inch thick. Add onions and mushrooms to skillet and sauté for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and golden brown. Add sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until onions are dark brown and caramelized. Remove skillet from heat; set aside. In a large bowl, gently combine ground chuck, green olives, cheddar cheese, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon pepper, and remaining salt. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form round patties with hands. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. Turn patties over and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until done to preference. During the last few minutes of grilling top patties with Swiss cheese slices to melt, and place buns cut side down on outer edges of grill to lightly toast. Slather pimento mayonnaise on the bottom halves of the buns. To assemble burgers, layer bottom bun halves with patties, bacon, caramelized onions and mushrooms, and bun tops.