Smokin’ Hot Burgers with Cucumber-Ponzu Sauce

Pairs well with:


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


Cucumber-Ponzu Sauce:
1 large cucumber, peeled seeded and diced
½ cup pickled beets, drained and chopped
½ cup diced, sweet onion
2 teaspoons dill weed
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons wasabi powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup (lime flavor) ponzu sauce

1½ pounds ground beef chuck
4 ounces Aundouille sausage, casing removed and crumbled
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, put through a garlic press
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
6 slices (½-inch thick) sweet red onion
6 slices smoked, sharp cheddar cheese (about the diameter of the burgers)
6 onion rolls, split
3 cups mesclun



Prepare barbeque grill with cover to medium-high heat. Brush with oil or spray with cooking spray. Mix all sauce ingredients together and set aside.

In large bowl, mix beef with next 6 ingredients. Mix lightly but well. Form into 6 patties the same size as the rolls. Grill until browned on the bottom, flip over and continue cooking to desired doneness (about 3-5 minutes per side). While burgers are cooking place onion rings on grill and cook until golden brown and crisp/tender (2-3 minutes per side). During last minute of cooking place rolls, cut side down, on edge of grill to lightly toast.

To assemble: Spread sauce on cut sides of the rolls. Place ½ cup of mesclun on bottom halves, top with burger, then cheese, then onion. Replace the roll top.

Makes 6 servings.