Texas Lone Star Burger
SMOKY BACON CHEESE SPREAD
1 ear corn, shucked and silk removed
1 jalapeño chile
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
12 jarred or canned peppadew (South African sweet piquante fruit) or sweet cherry peppers, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 slices applewood-smoked bacon
APRICOT AND ONION JAM
1/2 cup Sutter Home White Merlot
1 dried ancho chile, stem and seeds discarded, chopped finely
6 ounces dried apricots
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups halved and thinly sliced Texas 1015 or other sweet onion
Juice of 2 large navel oranges
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 poblano chiles, tops and seeds removed, cut lengthwise in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds 80/20 ground chuck
6 ounces Cajun-style andouille sausage, chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns
6 romaine lettuce leaves
Heat a gas grill to high.
To make the spread, place the corn and chile on the grill rack and cook, turning, until charred on all sides. Transfer to a work surface to cool. Cut the corn kernels from the cob and place in a bowl. Discard the seeds and stem from the chile, chop finely, and add to the corn. Add the cheese, peppadews, onions, and pepper. Place a cast-iron skillet on the grill rack, add the bacon, and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool, crumble and add to the other ingredients in the bowl. Mix gently and set aside until assembling the burgers.
To make the jam, combine the wine, chile, and apricots in a bowl and set aside to soak for about 15 minutes. Heat the oil in a stainless-steel fireproof pot, add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the wine mixture, orange juice and zest, honey, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and continue to cook at a slow boil until thick and jam-like, about 12 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to assemble the burgers.
To grill the poblanos, place them on the grill rack, cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a work surface, sprinkle with the salt, and set aside.
To make the patties, gently combine the beef and sausage in a bowl. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Combine the salt, paprika, pepper, cumin, and chile in a small bowl and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon of the mixture to the meat and combine. Form into 6 equal patties. Sprinkle the patties on both sides with the remaining seasoning mixture.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer the patties to a plate. Arrange the buns, cut sides down, on the grill to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, smear the cheese spread on the bun bottoms. Top with the patties, then the jam, poblano halves, lettuce, and bun tops. Serve immediately.