Rootin’ Tootin’ Burger

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.


1 1/4 pounds (20 oz.) ground beef chuck
1/4 cup regular (not instant) oatmeal
2 teaspoons salt, divided
4 tablespoons seeded diced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons seeded diced yellow bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons finely diced dried ancho chili, divided
Root Beer Sauce
1 (12 oz.) bottle regular (not diet) root beer
2 tablespoons tomato catsup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 tablespoons mild chili paste, divided
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 beef bouillon cube
3 cups fresh leek, cut widthwise into 1/4-inch-thick rings
1 teaspoon dried caraway seeds
vegetable oil for brushing grill
6 4-inch hamburger buns, split



To make the patties, approximately 2 hours before serving mix ground chuck, oatmeal, 1 teaspoon of the salt, red pepper, yellow pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the diced ancho chili in a medium-sized bowl and mix well to combine. Divide and form into 6 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate patties until time to cook. To make the root beer sauce, about 50 minutes before serving heat grill to medium-low heat. When grill is ready place a large saucepan with a heat-proof handle on the uncovered grill and fill it with the root beer, catsup, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the chili paste, red onion, pepper, bouillon cube, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon dried ancho chili. Stirring occasionally, allow mixture to reduce and thicken to half the original volume (about 30 minutes). Increase grill temperature to medium and add the leek rings to the sauce. Stir and allow the leeks to cook until softened but still retain some crunch (about 5 minutes). Remove pan from grill, stir in the caraway seeds. Cover and set aside. Brush the grill with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill and cover. Cook 5 minutes to medium well on one side, then turn and cook an additional five minutes. In the last couple of minutes before patties are done, place cut sides of buns down on outer edges of the grill to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers spread bun bottoms equally with the remaining 3 tablespoons of chili paste and place on individual serving plates. Top with a patty. Divide the cooked leeks and root beer sauce equally and heap on top of the patties. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.