Sweet Mesquite Burgers with Three Pepper Slaw

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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

Growing up, I spent many weekends in South Texas sitting around smoky campfires, listening to stories and enjoying great food. An eighth generation Texan, I thought it was only right to create a burger that paid tribute to my state. This recipe has many flavors and ingredients that bring back fun memories. The spicy slaw is inspired by a family original recipe.


Three Pepper Slaw:
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chiles, or to taste
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
1 red bell pepper, halved crosswise and seeded, sliced very thin
1 yellow bell pepper, halved crosswise and seeded, sliced very thin
2 large jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded and cut into very thin strips
1/4 cup chopped 1015 onions
3/4 cup finely shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Brown Sugar Bacon:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
12 thick cut slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

2 pounds brisket, trimmed and ground twice
2 teaspoons mesquite liquid smoke
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 jalapeno and cheese hamburger buns, split
1/2 cup mesquite barbeque sauce (such as Stubbs)


In a large bowl whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, lime juice, chiles and garlic. Add cabbage, peppers, onions and cheese, tossing to coat. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

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

Heat a large, heavy fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, in batches as necessary. Remove bacon to paper towels, drain skillet and wipe clean. Add brown sugar and butter to skillet; stir and let melt. Arrange bacon on a large plate or wax paper; brush both sides of bacon with sugar butter mixture. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Mix together ground brisket, liquid smoke, paprika, brown sugar, garlic, cayenne, oregano, salt and black pepper. Form into 6 patties. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack. Grill approximately 4 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Remove from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Place buns on edges of grill for 2 minutes to lightly toast.

Spread hickory sauce on bun bottoms. Top with bacon then patties. Arrange slaw on top. Add bun tops and serve.

Serves 6