Three-Pepper Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese


1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large white onions
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon white pepper
vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 leaves red leaf lettuce
18 hot-house tomato slices (approximately 5 hot-house tomatoes)
6 bolo rolls, split



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

2. Place dried mushrooms in a small glass bowl. In a small, fire-proof sauce pan heat Sutter Home Zinfandel wine to a simmer on grill rack. Pour wine over mushrooms and allow to reconstitute for at least 1/2 hour. Drain and lightly squeeze excess liquid from mushrooms; roughly chop and set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a large, fire-proof skillet on grill rack. Cut onions in half, then in half-ring slices 1/4 inch thick. Add onions to skillet and saute for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and golden brown. Add 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and sugar. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until onions are dark brown and caramelized. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.

4. In a small bowl combine goat cheese, sour cream and black pepper; set aside.

5. In a large bowl gently combine ground chuck, mushrooms, garlic, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and white pepper. Divide into 6 equal portions and form patties in the shape of the bolo rolls with hands. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill rack, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn patties, cover and cook and additional 4 minutes or until done to preference. Warm the buns cut-side down over indirect heat during the last few minutes of grilling the patties.

6. To assemble burgers, spread the bottom buns with goat cheese mixture and top with the onions, patties, lettuce, tomato slices (3 per burger), and bun tops.