Keshi Yena Burgers with Spicy Mayonnaise

Pairs well with:


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


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickles
1/3 cup finely chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
1/4 cup Pickapeppa Sauce (or 3 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce and 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce)
2 tablespoons capers
2 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
2 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck

Spicy Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Pickapeppa Sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon mustard

2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing the grill grates
4 ounces Edam cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons softened butter
6 good-quality sesame seed buns
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced


Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

For patties, heat the oil in a grill-proof skillet. Add onion and red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Let the vegetables cool a bit and transfer them to a large bowl. Add currants, dill pickles, olives, Pickapeppa Sauce, capers, Tabasco Sauce, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Add the ground chuck and mix it with the seasonings, handling the meat as little as possible. Form into 6 patties that fit the size of the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

For spicy mayonnaise, whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, Pickapeppa Sauce, Tabasco Sauce and mustard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

When the grill is ready, brush the grate with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 4-6 minutes per side, turning only once. Place a small mound of cheese on each burger during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Butter the buns, and place them on the outer edges of the grill to toast for about 1 minute.

To assemble the burgers, spread the bottom halves of the buns with the mayonnaise, add a slice of tomato, a burger and the tops of the buns.

Makes 6 burgers