Spiced Cabernet Burgers with Grilled Peppers, Fennel and Thyme

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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


2 red bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped fennel bulb, reserve fronds for garnish
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried chili peppers
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped and divided
1/4 cup Sutter Home cabernet sauvignon
2 pounds ground chuck
Vegetable oil for oiling grill
1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 soft hamburger buns
12 escarole leaves, coarsely torn
2 Creole tomatoes, sliced



Prepare grill to medium high. Chop one of the red bell peppers and set aside. In a medium sauce pan over the prepared grill, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped red bell pepper, fennel, shallots, garlic, coriander, cumin, 1 teaspoon of the ground mustard, salt, chili peppers, and 2 teaspoons fresh thyme. Saute until the vegetables are wilted, about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in the Sutter Home cabernet and simmer for an additional 2 -3 minutes. Place the remaining whole red bell pepper on the grill, roast and turn occasionally until the outer sill begins to blister. Remove the peppers from the grill to a ziplock plastic bag and set aside until ready to use. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chuck with the spiced cabernet fennel mixture. Gently mix together and form into 6 patties. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and grill until browned on the bottoms, about 3 – 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until the desired degree of degree of doneness, about 5 minutes longer for medium. When the patties are cooked, remove from the grill and cover with foil to keep warm. Remove the roasted bell peppers from the plastic bag, reserving the pepper drippings. Cut the pepper into 6 slices. Remove and discard the seeds and veins. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon reserved pepper drippings, remaining dry mustard, and remaining thyme. Place the hamburger buns on the outer edges of the grill, cut side down and toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the thyme pepper mayonnaise spread over both cut sides of each bun. On each roll bottom, place an escarole leaf, a tomato slice, a beef patty, and a roasted red pepper slice. Add the bun tops and serve. Garnish with the reserved fresh fennel fronds. Makes 6 burgers.