Southwest Sage and Zesty Orange Burgers

Pairs well with:


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


Sage Butter
2 sticks butter, slightly softened
3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sage powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Orange Pecan Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons minced orange zest
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Zinfandel wine
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced orange zest
1 teaspoon sage powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
Fresh sage leaves for aromatic smoke
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
6 fresh soft Kaiser rolls



Directions Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the sage butter, stir the fresh sage into the butter, until well blended. Mix in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir until smooth. Store in a cool place. To make the orange pecan mayonnaise, combine the orange juice, onion powder, orange zest and Tabasco sauce. Stir into mayonnaise. Mix in pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use. To make the patties, combine the ground beef, Zinfandel, sweet onion and orange zest. Combine sage powder, salt and crushed red chili pepper in a tiny bowl. Sprinkle over ground beef and mix in lightly by hand. Avoid compacting the meat mixture. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and make into patties to fit rolls. Prepare grill rack by brushing with oil. Place patties on grill rack. Place whole fresh sage leaves along sides of grill rack for aromatic sage smoke. (Do not allow sage leaves to burn.) Cover and cook 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until done to preference. During the last two minutes of grilling patties, top each patty with a generous scoop of grated cheese. Place cut sides of buns on grill and toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the sage butter over the bottom rolls. Spread a generous amount of the orange pecan mayonnaise on the top roll. Place patties on buttered rolls. Add additional grated cheese. Add the roll tops and serve.