Over The Top Burgers With Bell Peppers & Onion

Pairs well with:


Paired or alone, there's something magical about this creamy wine that nods to yummy peaches and sinful delights.


2-1/4 pounds ground chuck
3 links Johnsonville Smoked Brats, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

12 slices thickly-cut bacon

Bell Pepper & Onion Topper:
1/4 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large yellow bell peppers, seeded, deveined & thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, deveined & thinly sliced
1 large red onion, peeled, halved & thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled & finely minced
3/4 cup Sutter Home Red Wine
3 teaspoons TABASCO Spicy Soy Sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon TABASCO Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons Plum Sauce (Chinese Style)
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Vegetable oil to brush on the grill rack
6 Kaiser Rolls, Corn Dusted, split
6 Heart of Romaine lettuce leaves


Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to high.

To make the Patties: in a large bowl crumble the chuck. Add the Brats, onion, salt, pepper and olive oil. Gently combine, handling the mixture as little as possible to prevent compacting. Form into 6 patties, cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to grill.

To prepare the bacon: when the grill is ready, cook the bacon in a large cast iron skillet on the rack until crisp – about 7-8 minutes. Drain on paper towels and wrap in foil to keep warm. Take the skillet off the grill rack and, using paper towels, remove the bacon grease.

To prepare the Bell Pepper & Onion Topper: place the cast iron skillet back on the grill rack. Add in the olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers. Add the bell peppers and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp – about 20 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, soy sauce, pepper sauce, plum sauce and sugar. Again, stirring occasionally, cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened (but not evaporated) and the veggies are softened (but still holding their shape) – about 25-30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the grill rack, cover with foil and set aside.

Turn the grill down from high to medium-hot heat.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the patties and cook for another 4-5 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking place the foil wrapped bacon and skillet containing the bell peppers and onion topper back on the grill rack to warm. Also, place the rolls, cut sides down, on the outer edges of the rack to lightly toast. Note: if your grill is too small to accommodate patties, bacon, skillet and rolls, transfer the cooked patties to a platter, cover with foil, and proceed with the rest.

To assemble the Burgers: place a lettuce leaf on each roll bottom. Add 2 slices of bacon, a patty, and an equal portion of the topper, and the roll top. You’ve just built a better burger! Skewering the burgers to serve is helpful!