The Mini-apple-is Burger

Pairs well with:


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

This burger takes advantage of the great Midwest dairy products in Minnesota and Wisconsin and uses the Honeycrisp Apple, the Minnesota state fruit since 2006, developed at the University of Minnesota.


1/4 cup packed fresh tarragon

1/4 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley

1 stick soft butter

2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

2 teaspoon salt

6 TB apple cider vinegar

4 teaspoon sugar

2 lbs 85% Lean Ground Chuck

1 teaspoon salt

6 good quality hamburger buns, split

4 TB good quality mayonnaise (homemade if you’ve got it)

2 TB whole grain mustard (a good choice is Silver Spring Deli Style Mustard from Wisconsin)

2 Honey crisp apples (or enough to make 6 1/2″ think, bun-size apple rings)

12 oz Wisconsin Brie Cheese, cut into 12 slices such that two slices will cover 1 hamburger bun (the rind can be cut off or left on according to your preference)


To make the compound butter, chop the fresh tarragon and flat leaf parsley, add to the soft butter and beat with a wooden spoon to distribute the herbs evenly. Set aside.

To make the pickled red cabbage, start by preparing an ice bath large enough to accommodate the cabbage, this will be used to stop the cooking when the cabbage comes out of the microwave. Combine the cabbage, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 3 cups of water in a microwave safe dish, cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner uncovered, and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Drain the cabbage and add to the ice bath. Remove the cabbage from the ice bath and dry with paper towels. In a glass dish large enough to accommodate the cabbage, stir together the apple cider vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the cabbage to the bowl and stir thoroughly. Chill for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Make the meat patties by combining the ground chuck with 1 teaspoon of salt. Then use your hands to gently incorporate 1/4 cup of the compound butter. Gently shape into 6 1″ thick patties. Cover with plastic and set aside.

While the cabbage is chilling, prepare a medium-hot charcoal or gas grill.

While the grill is heating, use the remaining compound butter to butter the top and bottom halves of the buns and set aside (you may have some butter left over). Mix together the mayonnaise and mustard and set aside.

When the grill is ready, prepare apple rings for the grill. Peel and core the apples, cut 6 1/2-inch thick slices of apple horizontally from the center of the apple. Ideally you will have 6 bun size or nearly bun size apple rings. Brush the grill lightly with vegetable oil. Place the meat patties on the grill and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes (for medium) and flip once. After flipping the patties, add the apple rings to the grill. Cook for 3 minutes then top the patties with the brie slices and place the apple rings on top of the brie slices so that the grill marks face up. Add the top and bottom halves of the buns to the grill (buttered side down). Remove the buns and patties when they reach the desired doneness (about 2 more minutes for medium). The buns should be toasted but not black.

To assemble the burgers, put 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise mustard mixture on the bottom half of each bun. Top that with a small amount of the pickled cabbage (when you lift the cabbage out of the bowl, let it drain slightly so it is not dripping). Top with the patties (with the cheese and apple rings) and add the top bun.