Smoky-Sweet Bacon Burgers with Crisp Apple and Blue Cheese Slaw

Serves Makes 6 burgers
Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


Crisp Apple and Blue Cheese Slaw

  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 2 1?2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 celery stalks, very thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces firm blue cheese, crumbled, preferably Maytag from Iowa or St. Pete’s from Minnesota
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1?2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1?4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1?2 cup grated red onion
  • 1?4 cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1?2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3?4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3?4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1?2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1?4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 pounds ground chuck


  • 12 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  • 6 Kaiser rolls, split
  • 6 large leafy lettuce leaves



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

To make the slaw, gently squeeze the grated apple between layers of paper towels to remove some of the excess moisture. Place the apples in a large bowl, add the lemon juice and zest, and toss to coat. Stir in the mayonnaise, maple syrup, celery, blue cheese, chives, paprika and nutmeg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the patties, whisk together the grated onion, wine, parsley, Worcestershire, maple syrup, thyme, kosher salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne and allspice in a large bowl. Gently but thoroughly mix in the beef and shape the mixture into 6 patties to fit the rolls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside.

When the grill is ready, cook the bacon in a large, heavy, nonstick, fire-proof skillet until golden and crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then wrap in foil to keep warm.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Remove the patties and rolls.

To assemble the burgers, top each roll bottom with a lettuce leaf, a patty, 2 bacon slices, an equal portion of apple slaw, and a roll top.