Memphis Dry Rub Soul Food Burgers

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.

After a trip to Memphis this summer, Ibecame hooked on the savory and spicy flavor of this colorful city’s dry barbeque rub. I thought that this would be the perfect accompaniment for a world class burger for this competition so I got out my spices and started blending. I then added some sauteed collard greens and homegrown tomatoes and voila!, the perfect soul food burger was born.


Collard Greens Topping:
1 pound fresh collard greens
4 slices hickory smoked bacon
1 tablespoon light olive oil, if needed
1/2 medium to large size onion, coarsely chopped
1- 1/2 large cloves garlic, divided
1/2 cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chipotle flavor hot sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Memphis Dry Rub:
1 tablespoon paprika
1 – 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 – 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Burger Patties:
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 – 1/2 large cloves garlic
1/2 medium size onion, coarsely chopped
6 slices Pepper Jack cheese
6 large size fresh bakery hamburger buns
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into 1/4″ thick slices


Preheat an outdoor charcoal or gas grill to high
While the grill is heating, chop bacon slices into 2″ pieces across. Place pieces in a mini food processor and chop finely.

Place a large fire proof pot in the middle of the fire; add the oil and preheat.

When pan is hot, add bacon and sauté. While the bacon is cooking, place an entire large onion and 3 cloves of garlic in the mini processor and process until it is very fine. Divide the onion mixture in half and set one half aside. Add the other half to the bacon and continue to cook (stirring frequently) until the onion is transparent and the bacon is brown, approximately 5 minutes longer.

While the bacon mixture is cooking, rinse the collard greens very well. Cut the spines from the leaves. Discard the spines and stems and lay the leaves flat in a stack. Starting at one end, roll the leaves in a cigar fashion. With a very sharp knife slice them in 1/4″ slices across, then in thirds in the opposite direction. Add them to the bacon mixture along with the wine and the salt; sauté for 5 minutes before covering and simmering for an additional 5 minutes. Add the hot sauce and vinegar and stir well to combine; set aside and keep warm. If using a gas grill, reduce the grill heat to medium high.

In a medium size bowl, combine the paprika, chili powder, granulated garlic, white pepper, mustard seed, thyme, coriander seed, ground coriander and cornstarch; set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the meat, 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and the other half of the ground onion and garlic. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, roll them into balls then flatten them into patties that are about the same size as the buns, making a slight indention in the middle. Sprinkle the patties on both sides with equal amounts of the spice rub and rub in slightly to set. Place the patties on the hot grill and cook for 5 – 7 minutes on each side for medium doneness. A couple of minutes before they are finished cooking, top each patty with a slice of cheese. Remove the patties from the grill and transfer to a serving plate, cover and keep warm.

While the burgers are cooking, spread the insides of each bun with equal amounts of the butter. Place on the hot grill and toast until the buttered sides are golden brown. Remove from the grill. At this time return the collards to the grill to warm if needed while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Spread the bottom of the buns with equal amounts of the mayonnaise. Then top the mayonnaise with tomato slices, a patty, then with equal amounts of the hot collard greens, and finally the top half of the bun.