Steakhouse “Double Cheese” Burger with Maple Lacquered Pastrami,& Panko Crunchi-fried Potato Chips & Maple/Horseradish Aioli

Pairs well with:


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

The inspiration for my recipe comes from a dinner I had at a great steak house.My filet was topped with a mixture of Gruyere and Gorgonzola cheese & wrapped in a maple smoked strip of bacon. The potato gratin had a marvelous, cheesy, yet crunchy topping. I asked my husband how a hamburger would be if I could get all those components to work in a hamburger, for the BBB contest. He dared me to try. VOILA!


¾ cup- good quality mayonnaise
3 tablespoon- creamy style horseradish
1/3 cup- Sour cream
3 tablespoons- pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon – kosher salt
½ teaspoon- black pepper

Meat Patties::
2 pounds- chilled ground chuck, 80/20
¾ cup- Chilled, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
1/3 cup- Sweet yellow onion/ grated
2 teaspoon- kosher salt
1 teaspoon- black pepper
1/3 cup- chilled, Sutter Home Zinfandel wine

8 ounces- thinly sliced pastrami
¼ cup- Pure maple syrup

Panko Crunchi-fried Potato Chips:
12 slices- 1/16″-1/8″ thick, russet potatoes with skins on, cut lengthwise
1cup- all purpose flour
2 teaspoons- kosher salt
1 teaspoon- black pepper
1 large- egg/ whisked with ¼ cup water
1¾ cups- Panko bread crumbs
1½ cups- canola oil

Finishing ingredients:
Canola oil to brush on the grill
2 cups- grated, Gruyere cheese
½ large- red onion, cut into thin rings
6 leaves- iceberg lettuce (don’t use the large, outside leaves)
6- good quality, sesame topped hamburger buns, split


To make the aioli: Mix together the mayo, horseradish, maple syrup, sour cream, salt & pepper, cover and keep chilled for assembly.

To make the patties: Combine the ground chuck, grated onion, Zinfandel, salt, pepper and Gorgonzola crumbles. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and make into patties to fit the buns. Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and keep chilled.

Preheat the gas grill to a medium high heat

To prepare the pastrami: Place a large, non-stick, heavy skillet on a pre-heated grill. When pan is hot, add the pastrami and cook till heated through. Add the maple syrup and coat the pastrami well. With tongs, gently shake off excess maple syrup and place the pastrami on the grill for 2 minutes, turning the meat so it won’t burn, but allowing it to begin to caramelize. Remove the pastrami to a platter, cover with foil to keep warm for assembly. Clean the skillet to use to fry the potato chips.

To make the panko crunchi-fried potato chips: Using 3 small, shallow bowls, place the flour, salt & pepper in one, the egg & water mixture in one, and the Panko in the 3rd. bowl. Dip each potato slice, coating both sides, into the flour mixture, then into egg mixture, then the Panko crumbs. Place them onto a small metal baking sheet, in a single layer. Add 1½ cups canola oil to a large, fireproof, non-stick skillet and place it on the heated grill. When oil is hot, fry the coated potato slices, in a single layer, no more than 3 at a time, 1-2 minutes on each side or till light golden brown and fork tender. Reduce the heat if they brown too quickly. When done, place them on a platter, cover them in aluminum foil, poke a tiny hole in the foil to vent steam, and keep hot for assembly.

To cook the burgers: Preheat the grill to medium high. When the grill is ready, 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 on each side for medium. Just before the burgers are done, place an equal amount of Gruyere on top of each burger. Close the lid to help the cheese melt. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. Remove burgers to a large platter & drape with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Assembly: Cover equally, the toasted sides of the buns, with the sauce. On the toasted side of each bun bottom, place a leaf of lettuce , followed by a few onion rings, then add a burger patty (cheese side up), an equal amount of pastrami, followed with 2 potato chips , and lastly, the bun tops that have been covered with the sauce. Serve while hot.