Meat Loaf Cheese Burgers

Pairs well with:


Get cozy and get pouring. Our Merlot is the wine for long weekends and lengthy chats.

By combining two of my favorite sandwiches, Meatloaf and Burgers, a really good grilled burger results.


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean / 20 percent fat)
3/4 pound lean ground sirloin
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
6 slices bacon
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh Cucumber Pickles
2 cucumbers
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Zinfandel Brown Sugar Glaze
2 cups Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups catsup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons butter

Vegetable oil to brush grill
2 large tomatoes
2 onions
1 heart of Romaine lettuce
1/4 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Bacon, 12 slices
6 high-quality un-seeded hamburger buns, split
12 slices of Cheddar cheese


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

To make patties place ground chuck and sirloin in a large bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water, let sit for 3 minutes and mix into ground meat. In a skillet fry bacon, crumble and add to meat. Combine meat mixture with onions, bell pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix together, handling as little as possible, avoiding over compaction of the mixture. Form the mixture into 6 equal patties sized to fit the buns being used, make a depression in the center of each, cover, and refrigerate until ready to grill. Return to room temperature when ready to grill.

Prepare pickles by first slicing the cucumbers, leaving peel on. In a bowl mix the vinegar with the sugar and salt until dissolved. Toss cucumber slices with vinegar mixture. Add garlic and dill. Mix and chill until ready to use. Toss several times as pickles chill.

For glaze, pour wine into saucepan and place on grill. Boil down wine to a syrup consistency. Whisk together wine reduction with vinegar. Mix in catsup, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano. Cook until glaze thickens. Add butter a little at a time mixing until melted and incorporated. Divide between two bowls, cover and chill until needed.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the room temperature patties on the rack and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium (150-155 degrees in the center) or until the desired doneness is reached. Baste with the glaze several times as the patties grill. Cut tomato into slices and set aside. Cut onion into slices and lettuce in half length-wise. Rub each with olive oil and season with salt and ground black pepper. Grill onion 5 minutes per side and lettuce 5 minutes, cut side down. Shred lettuce for burgers. Cook bacon in a heavy skillet on grill until crispy. During the last few minutes of grilling toast buns cut side down. Top each of the patties with two slices of cheese and let melt.

To assemble burgers place a patty on each bun bottom and top with bacon, slice of tomato, grilled onion, pickles, shredded grilled lettuce and the remaining bun top, dressed with glaze.

Serves 6