New York Deli Burger

Pairs well with:


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

I wanted to bring the deli taste of a reuben sandwich over to the burger world


Deli sauce
3/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons minced flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced dill pickle
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
2 pounds cold ground chuck 75-80% lean
2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup cold Sutter Home Zinfandel
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup red onion minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro minced
3 thin slices of deli corned beef cut into 12 strips
6 thick slices Gruyere cheese
6 thin slices of Havarti cheese
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
12 slices of marbled rye bread
6 leaves of red leaf lettuce
18 bread and butter pickle slices
6 TBSP Sauerkraut drained
Coarse deli mustard


For the deli sauce, combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, sour cream, parsley, onion, pickle, lemon juice, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

For the patties, prepare grill for medium high heat. Place a fireproof skillet on the grill and heat the oil until it begins to shimmer. Add the onions, garlic, and pinch of salt stirring frequently to prevent scorching them. Cook 8-10 minutes until onions are softened. Remove sautéed veggies and ground chuck from refrigerator and add both to a large cold mixing bowl. Combine salt, pepper, Zinfandel, Worcestershire sauce, red onion, and cilantro in a small bowl and pour over ground meat. Use a large sturdy metal spoon instead of your hands to mix ingredients together just until combined. Do not over mix or compact!

Tip: Using a spoon to mix the meat allows the fat to melt during grilling instead of melting by your warm hands. This keeps burgers juicier and prevents them from becoming dense.

Use a metal dough scraper or spatula to divide meat mixture evenly into six portions. Wet your hands to keep them from sticking to the meat and quickly form each portion into a loose ball. Place a saucer sized square of wax paper on a small plate and place one meat ball in the middle. Cover it with another square of wax paper and use a small plate to gently flatten it into a patty. Repeat with the other portions until you have six patties. Wrap each patty with 2 strips of corned beef in a criss-cross X shape pattern.

Brush grill rack with oil to prevent sticking. Place patties on hot grill corned beef side down and close grill lid. Grill for 5 minutes and don’t mash the burgers with spatula or you will squeeze out the natural juices. Gently flip the burgers, close lid, and grill for 5 minutes. Add a slice of Gruyere cheese to each burger, close lid for 1 minute or until they reach an internal temperature of 160F if using an instant read thermometer. Remove burgers from grill and set them in a large dish tented with foil to rest 2 minutes. While burgers are resting, lightly toast all bread slices on one side until they have grill marks.

6. For Assembly, spread a layer of dressing on toasted side of 6 slices of bread and top each one with a leaf of lettuce and 3 pickle slices. Add 1 slice of Havarti cheese on top of the pickles and add a hot burger on top of the cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut over each burger and a dollop of the dressing on top of the sauerkraut. Spread a thin layer of coarse deli mustard on toasted side of remaining bread slices. Place on top of each burger toasted side down. Serve immediately.