The Big Bang Burger

Pairs well with:


Hard to pronounce yet easy to drink, this wine combines lychee fruit and white peach flavors with a hint of spice.

I’m a fan of southern cuisine; mainly grits smothered anything.


Pancetta Onion and Apple Topping
1/4 pound pancetta; chopped
2 1/2 pounds sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 large granny smith apple; peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme; chopped
1/4 cup Sutter Home Gewurztraminer
pinch sea salt
pinch ground black pepper

California Cheese Grits
1/2 tablespoon Colavita extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot; minced
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup quick-cooking grits
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch white pepper
1/2 cup California Carmody cheese; shredded
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup California Crescenza cheese

Chipotle Aioli
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 1/2 teaspoons TABASCO Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves; minced
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup Colavita extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 pounds ground chuck; 80/20
1 shallot; minced
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons TABASCO Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

vegetable oil; for the grill racks

6 rustic hamburger buns; cut in half


For the Pancetta Onion and Apple Topping: Place a large skillet over the grill and cook the pancetta until crisp. Transfer the pancetta to a plate and drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the skillet. Add the onion to the skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the apple and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the pancetta back into the skillet. Add the thyme and Sutter Home Gewurztraminer and move the skillet to the edge of the grill to simmer for 5 minutes or until the wine has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper; cover and set aside.

For the California Cheese Grits: Place a medium saucepan over the grill. Add the olive oil and shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes; until shallot is golden. Add the water to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the quick cooking grits, salt, pepper and place the pan on the outer edge of the grill as to not burn the grits while cooking. Cover and stir frequently for 5-6 minutes; or until the mixture has thickened. Remove the grits from the grill and stir in the shredded Carmody cheese, heavy cream and Crescenza cheese. Cover and set aside.

For the Chipotle Aioli: In medium bowl vigorously whisk the egg yolks until creamy. Whisk in the lime juice, chipotle sauce, dijon mustard, garlic and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and vegetable oil until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Patties: In a large bowl gently combine the ground chuck, shallot, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle sauce, allspice and white pepper. Handle as a little as possible while forming the six patties. Make an indentation in the center of each patty; this will help cook the patties evenly and give them a nice shape once grilled.
Lightly brush the grill rack with vegetable oil and grill the patties for 4-5 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue to grill for 4-5 minutes longer. Remove the patties to a platter and tent with foil for 2-3 minutes to allow them to rest.

While the patties rest place the halved burger buns onto the grill and toast until lightly golden.

To assemble the burgers: Smear the top and bottom bun halves with the aioli place a patty onto the bottom of each bun, spoon about 1/2 cup of cheese grits over the burger, over the grits spoon the pancetta onion and apple topping and finish off with the top half of the bun. Serve.