Pairs well with:


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

We were throwing a BBQ party and we had a platter of my marinated mushrooms as an appetizer. There were a few marinated mushrooms remaining when it came time to serve the burgers from the grill. Naturally being the cook you are always the last one to eat at the party. As I went to prepare my burger, I decided I wanted some mushrooms as a topping. So I put the marinated mushrooms on my burger and I had a Sutter Home moment where I said to myself, this is a Burger worthy to enter into the contest. I made a few adjustments and created my Italian Marinated Mushroom Burger with my home-made Bad Boys BBQ sauce and a sharp cheddar cheese that pairs well with the mushrooms. I hope you enjoy my burger.



Italian Marinated Mushrooms:

12 ounces assorted mushrooms (cremini, buttons, chanterelles, shitakes) chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil

2/3 cup white wine vinegar

1/3 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

3 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Bad Boys BBQ Sauce:

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup Brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chile powder

1/2 teaspoon Ancho chile powder

3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke


2 1/4 pound chuck (80/20)

1/3 cup Bad Boy’s BBQ sauce

2 Tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel

1/3 cup shallots, minced

2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh black pepper

12 slices smoked bacon

Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil, for brushing the grill rack and buns.

6 slices of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, each 1/4 inch thick.

6 Brioche buns, split

6 pieces Green Leaf lettuce

1 large ripe California Haas avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Place a large fireproof skillet on the rack.

To make the Italian Marinated Mushroom, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, Zinfandel, soy sauce, honey, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir frequently and bring mixture to a boil. Add the chopped mushrooms and bring back to a boil. Once it starts re-boiling remove from heat and pour the hot mixture into a heat-proof container with a lid. Immediately seal the lid on the container. Let the mushrooms marinate for 1 hour or longer before using. Set aside.

To make the Bad Boy’s BBQ sauce, in a large bowl add the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, and brown sugar, whisk together. Next add the chipotle, ancho, paprika, garlic salt, kosher salt, cumin, and cayenne, whisk together. Add the honey and liquid smoke. Whisk all together until incorporated. Set aside.

Place large iron skillet on the rack to preheat for the bacon.

To cook the bacon, Place the bacon in the preheated iron skillet. Cook the bacon until crisp about 5 to 7 minutes a side. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towels. Cover the bacon with aluminum foil and keep warm. Remove the skillet from the grill.

To prepare the patties, In a large bowl, place the chuck, Bad Boy’s BBQ sauce, Zinfandel, shallots, salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Gently mix together using a large spoon. Form into 6 patties with a thumb dimple in the center of each patty and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 5

minutes. Turn the patties and cover and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. During the last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling the patties, brush the patties with the Bad Boys BBQ sauce and add a slice of Sharp Cheddar cheeses on top of each patty. During the same time, brush the buns with olive oil and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack and toast lightly to golden brown.

To assemble the burger, drizzle lightly the bottom toasted side of the buns with some of the Bad Boy’s BBQ sauce. Place one leaf of Green Lettuce and 2 slices of bacon on each bottom bun and add the patty. On top of each patty, place a large dollop of the Italian Marinated Mushrooms using a slotted spoon to drain off most of the liquid, followed by 2 slices of avocado and drizzle with the Bad Boy’s BBQ sauce in that order. Add the toasted bun top with wooden skewers and serve immediately.

Makes 6 burgers.