Smoky Burgers with Chipotle Caramelized Onions and Cumin Aioli

Pairs well with:


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


2 Onions
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. Chipotle Tabasco
Salt and Pepper to Taste
3 lbs. Ground Chuck
2 C. Smoked Mozzarella, shredded
2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1.5 tsp. Rubbed Sage
1/3 C. Mayonnaise
1 tsp. Grounds Cumin
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 Avocados
6 Ciabatta Rolls
2 C. Baby Spinach, washed and dried



Heat gas grill to high heat. Once it is heated, turn one side down to medium.

Cut onion in half and slice into 1/4 inch slices. In a sealable plastic bag combine onions, olive oil, chipotle Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Close bag and massage to separate onion slices and coat with Tabasco mixture. Pour contents of the bag into a grill basket and place over the high flame. Use a spatula to stir them occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix ground chuck, smoked mozzarella, salt, pepper and sage. Using hands knead until it is well combined. Separate into 6 equal parts. Shape each portion into patties about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. When onions have started to turn translucent (10-20 minutes, time varies depending on grill), place the burgers over the medium flame. Flip the burger after 10 minutes and cook until the thermometer reads 150, approximately 10-15 minutes additional.

In the meantime, mix mayonnaise, cumin and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside. Halve and remove the seed from the avocados. Scoop the avocado into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside. About 5 minutes before the burgers are done, place the ciabatta rolls onto the top rack of the grill (over indirect heat) to warm.

When burgers are done remove them and the onions from the grill. Transfer onions to a bowl or plate. Slice rolls and spread aioli on the bottom half and avocado on the top half. Grab a small handful of spinach and place over the aioli. Set the burger on top of the spinach and cover with caramelized onions. Place the top part of the roll over the burger and enjoy with a glass of Sutter Home Zinfandel!