Speak Easy Bourbon Burger

Pairs well with:


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

The nostalgia of the 20’s and 30’s prohibition era food and drink makes me think that even today, simple, and sometimes “secret”, pleasures are often the best.Bring on the burgers and wine!


Bourbon Glaze

The fat from 6 thick slices of applewood smoked bacon (bacon slices reserved)

1 cup good quality bourbon (I use Makers Mark)

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 teaspoons Worcestershire

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Cream cheese, horseradish, celeriac slaw

1 large celeriac bulb (peeled and grated)

1 large shallot (minced)

2 tablespoon fresh horseradish (finely grated)

1 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


2 1/4 pounds fresh ground chuck (80/20)

6 slices of bacon (minced)

1/2 cup pimento (drained and chopped)

2 tablespoons olive oil (I use Colavita)

1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Vegetable oil for grill rack

6 Bavarian soft pretzel rolls (or other soft boiled roll) cut in half.

6 large ripe tomato slices

12 medium butter lettuce leaves


Heat grill to medium high heat.

To make bourbon glaze: In medium sized sauce pan cook bacon until semi-crisp, then remove and let sit on paper towel. De glaze the pan with bourbon. Add brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire and dry mustard. Whisk and move to outer grill to reduce.

To make patties: add to a large mixing bowl, bacon, pimentos, olive oil, salt, pepper and beef. Gently mix. DO NOT OVER MIX. Divide beef mixture into 6 even balls and shape into patties. Cover and put into refrigerator until ready to grill.

To make slaw: Grate celeriac in a food processor or with a hand grater. Move celeriac to a medium mixing bowl and add shallots, horseradish, cream cheese, mayo, parsley, lemon juice, ground pepper. Mix well, cover and set aside.

Remove patties from refrigerator and gently glaze both side of each patty with bourbon glaze and place on grill. Cover and cook patties for 4-5 minutes on each side, glazing two more times per side (cook longer for better done burgers). Remove patties and assemble.

To assemble burgers: Place burgers on the bottom 1/2 of each pretzel roll, divide the slaw evenly and place on burgers, place a tomato slice on the slaw, add two lettuce leaves and the top of the pretzel roll. Serve immediately.