New South Beef Burgers

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.


Roasted Peanut Aioli:
1/2 cup Southern-style mayonnaise (such as Duke’s)
1/3 cup dry-roasted, salted peanuts, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic, minced

Grilled Puff Pastry “Buns”:
2 (9×10-inch) sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed to room temperature
1 Tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1+1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Caramelized Collards & Bacon:
6 slices hickory-smoked bacon, finely chopped
3 cups pre-washed, pre-packaged collard greens, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Sutter Home White Merlot

Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 thin slices, smoked cheddar cheese



Preheat a gas grill to medium (will increase temperature later to cook bacon, collards, and patties)

To prepare the aioli, combine mayonnaise, crushed peanuts, and garlic in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool location until ready to serve.

To make the puff pastry “buns”, cut each sheet of thawed puff pastry into 6 (3×5-inch) rectangles using a pizza cutter. Brush both sides of rectangles well with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Place rectangles onto hot grill and close the lid. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side, closing the grill lid after turning to allow heat to stay inside the grill and puff the rectangles. Remove grilled, puffed rectangles to a plate to cool. Increase grill temperature to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, onion, brown sugar, salt, garlic, and black pepper in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Divide and shape into 6 patties to fit the puff pastry buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to grill.

To make the caramelized collards and bacon, place a large, fire-proof skillet onto the grill rack. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Using a skimmer or slotted metal spoon, remove bacon pieces to paper towels to drain. Place collards into skillet with bacon grease and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring regularly, until wilted. Add cooked bacon pieces, brown sugar, and Sutter Home White Merlot to the skillet. Cook 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly, until wine is reduced and collards are cooked well. Transfer bacon and collards to a bowl, cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside.

To cook patties, brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference (about 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium). Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling time.

To assemble the burgers, spread equal amounts of the peanut aioli onto 6 puff pastry rectangles, followed by a cheese-topped patty, and an equal portion of the caramelized bacon and collards. Add the remaining 6 puff pastry rectangles and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.