Smoky Mountain Burger

Pairs well with:


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


2 tbsp olive oil (1 tbsp for roasting garlic, remainder for carmelizing onion)
2 bulbs garlic (for roasting)
2 shallots (for roasting with garlic)
1 tsp fresh horseradish (grated)
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
1 bottle (5 oz) Tiger Sauce
1/4 cup liquid smoke (mesquite flavor)
1 large red onion (for carmelizing)
1 1/2 lbs Black Angus freshly ground (coarse) beef chuck
1 1/2 lbs Black Angus ground beef sirloin (coarsely ground)
1 tsp freshly ground sea salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Meat Seasoning
6 slices hickory smoked bacon thick cut
6 thin slices of smoked sharp cheddar cheese – cut slightly smaller than burger patties)
6 large english sourdough muffins
cooking oil for brushing grill with oil-soaked towel. Not inculded in above 16 items as indicated in official rules



Prepare grill for cooking using medium heat. If grill has two sides with separate temperatures, leave one side on low for tasting sourdough muffins) To roast garlic and shallots: Cut top end of garlic bulb (pointed end) and remove the outer leaves that fall of at your touch. Using a small piece of heavy duty aluminium foil as a cooking pouch, place two garlic bulbs in the middle of the foil. Cut top and bottom of shallots and take off entire outer skin of both and place in foil. Drizzle 2 Tbs. of olive oil over garlic and shallots. Close the aluminum foil packet and place on medium side of grill for approximately 30-45 minutes (depending on grill temperature as all grills are different). Check for doneness at 25 minutes. When garlic appears done and browned and soft, remove from grill and cool. When cooled, squeeze the roasted garlic from the bulb onto a small plate or small bowl. With a fork, mash garlic. When shallots have cooled, finely chop and add to smashed garlic. Prepare roasted garlic & shallot cream cheese: In a small glass or porcelain bowl, mix ½ cup whipped cream cheese and garlic & shallot mixture. Add horseradish. Set aside for flavors to combine while preparing meat mixture and during grilling. For best results, place mixture in cooler until about 20 minutes before plating burger so the mixture will not be cold and not cool off the burger. Prepare meat for grilling: In medium round glass or porcelain bowl combine Tiger Sauce (5 ounces), 1.4 cup mesquite flavored liquid smoke, 2 Tbs. garlic powder (or use dried garlic pieces and grind to prepare for this mixture), 1 Tbs. Magic Meat Seasoning, 1 tsp ground sea salt. Stir to combine all ingredients. In square glass pan (I use 9 X 9 pan), mix two ground meats together loosely and place in pan (pressing lightly into pan to fill pan evenly). Pour above mixture (Tiger Sauce etc) evenly over meat. Allow the mixture to soak into meat for 10 minutes. Cook smoked bacon while waiting. With knife cut into meat and section the meat into 6 even pieces. Remove each section from the pan and form into patties of equal size with each patty having a height of approximately ½ inch. Cook smoked bacon: Cook bacon over medium grill on a piece of aluminium foil. Cook approximately 12 to 15 minutes depending on grill heat. Bacon should be fully cooked and crisp. Lay on paper or cloth towel to drain grease and cool until ready to assemble burger. Grilling onions: Cut large red onion into slices and separate into rings). Cook over pieces of aluminum foil on grill drizzled with 2 Tbs. of olive oil until caramelized. Should take approximately 10-15 minutes depending on grill heat. Set aside until ready to assemble burger. Grilling the meat: Using a towel, dip cloth into oil and wipe on grill to prevent burger from sticking to grill. Place burgers on grill and cook for approximately 6 minutes on each side. After approximately 5 minutes of cooking on second side (after turning burgers once), place cheddar cheese slice on top and cook for approximately one more minutes to melt cheese. Remove burgers from grill. Grill buns: One minute before burgers are down, place English muffins on grill (low side of applicable) and remove when toasted. I prefer to baste with small amount of olive oil before toasting. Remove from grill when toasted and browned lightly. To assemble burger: Place burger directly on bottom portion of English muffin. Place approximately 2 Tbs. of cream cheese mixture on top of cheese-topped burger. Place caramelized onions next and complete with top portion of English muffin. EAT