Le Petite Pomme Burger with Sauvignon Soaked Shallots
My inspiration for this burger was a tapenade toast appetizer I make, using caramelized shallots and shaved cheese. One time, I added some sliced apple and everybody went wild for it. Of course, I immediately thought of putting all those flavors into a burger 🙂
2/3 cup mixed-olive Tapenade (made with Kalamata, black and green olives, such as Trader Joe’s Olive Tapenade Spread)
2 teaspoons freshly cracked peppercorn mélange
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 ounces French Comte cheese*, grated
2 pounds ground beef chuck (20% fat)
Dijon Garlic Sauce:
4 teaspoons Whole Grain Dijon Mustard (Maille Old Style preferred)
2 teaspoons roasted garlic paste (homemade or bottled NapaStyle preferred)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s preferred)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 medium (3 1/2″ diameter) unpeeled sweet, crisp apples (Honeycrisp or Cameo preferred)
Fruit Fresh (non-browning) Produce Protector
12 thick-cut slices bacon, cut in half crosswise
Sauvignon Soaked Shallots:
2 Tablespoons reserved bacon fat
2 cups thinly sliced shallots
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus several multi-branch thyme sprigs
Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc to hydrate (about 2/3 cup)
2 Tablespoons fig spread/preserves (Organic Adriatic Fig Spread preferred)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Vegetable oil for brushing grill
3 (4-pack) packages King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, split
6 ounces thinly sliced French Comte cheese*
To make the Patties, place Tapenade on work surface and run a knife through it in both directions to ensure that no pit fragments remain; stir together Tapenade, cracked peppercorns, salt and grated cheese in a large bowl. Add the beef and mix well with a fork, handling as little as possible to avoid warming and compacting mixture. Divide into 12 equal portions and form into 3 ½” patties; cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
To make the Dijon Garlic Sauce, combine Dijon mustard, roasted garlic paste, mayonnaise, Tabasco Pepper Sauce and thyme leaves in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.
Slice apples crosswise into 3/8″-thick rounds and cut cores out of centers to make apple rings. Sprinkle the 12 largest (center) rings well with Fruit Fresh and place in a food bag/container; refrigerate until assembling.
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
Cook bacon in a large heavy fireproof skillet on the grill until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels and wrap bacon in Reynolds Wrap Foil to keep warm, reserving 2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat; wipe out skillet.
To make the Sauvignon Soaked Shallots, return skillet to grill and heat reserved bacon fat. Add shallots, thyme leaves and sprigs, sauté about 10 minutes until soft and caramelized, adding Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc every few minutes to hydrate. When shallots are done, remove and discard woody thyme sprigs and fold in fig spread, lemon juice and zest. Cover and keep warm.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Grill the cut sides of rolls until lightly toasted, remove to a tray, cover loosely with Reynolds Wrap Foil and set aside; brush and oil grill rack again. Make a depression in burger centers (for even cooking) and place the patties on the rack, cover and cook 3 minutes. Turn burgers, top with cheese slices and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until done to preference.
To assemble burgers, spread the cut sides of rolls with Dijon Garlic Sauce. Cover bottom buns with an apple ring and top with a burger. Spoon some Sauvignon Soaked Shallots over burger and top with 2 bacon pieces; close with top bun and skewer with wooden sandwich pick.
Makes 12 small burgers/sliders, for 6 servings.
*Note: if Comte cheese is not available, Gruyere would be an acceptable substitute.