Meat Loaf Cheese Burger with Zinfandel Brown Sugar Glaze, Ketchup Salsa Spread and Fresh Cucumber Pickles

Pairs well with:


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


Fresh Cucumber Pickles
3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Zinfandel Brown Sugar Glaze
4 cup Zinfandel
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Ketchup Salsa Spread
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup ketchup

2 pounds ground beef chuck
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup Saltine crackers , crushed (about 16)

Vegetable oil to brush grill
6 high-quality seeded hamburger buns, split
6 slices of Gruyere
Salt and pepper
3 cups shredded lettuce


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

Place cucumber slices in a bowl and add vinegar with dill, salt and pepper. Toss well, cover and refrigerate. Toss several times before serving.

For glaze, whisk together wine, oil, brown sugar, mustard and black pepper. Chill until ready to used.

Salsa spread is prepared by mixing tomatoes with onion, cilantro, Jalapeno and lime juice. Mix well and add ketchup mixing until all ingredients are incorporated.

To make patties place the ground beef, bacon, gelatin, salt and pepper with onions, garlic, parsley, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, milk, olive oil and cracker crumbs in a large bowl and mix handling as little as possible and avoiding over compacting the mixture. Shape mixture into 6 patties sized to fit the buns that are being used. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill bringing to room temperature before grilling.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until the desired doneness is reached (150-155 degrees in the center for medium) basting with the glaze several times as the burger grills. During the last few minutes of grilling, place the buns cut sides down on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of grilling place a slice of cheese on each patty. Spread salsa spread on each bun slice. Place patty on each bun bottom and top with drained fresh pickles, lettuce and the remaining bun top.

Serves 6