VERMONT’S SUGAR SHACK BURGERS
There are only a few regions in the world suitable for maple syrup production. Vermont is by far, the most famous. The sweet scent of boiling maple sap escaping area sugar shacks is just one of the reasons visitors travel to experience springtime in Vermont.
Contrary to popular belief, maple syrup grades do not indicate a difference in quality or purity. As a rule, the darker the color, the stronger the flavor. Individual preference for a particular grade of maple syrup is similar to that of a wine connoisseur, some prefer reds and some prefer whites.
At harvest time, there’s nothing like a day of syrup making, grilling some burgers and imbibing. Truly sap happy in Vermont.
Caramelized Shallots and Cranberries:
1/2 cup Sutter Home Cabernet
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots
3/4 cup dried cranberries
4 Tablespoons butter
Maple Sugar Glaze:
1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup
1/4 cup Dijon style mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 lbs. ground chuck
2 Tablespoons pure Vermont maple syrup
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 Tablespoon finely minced gingerroot
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2-3 Tablespoons Colavita Olive Oil for brushing the grill
12 oz. Brie cheese, sliced into 6 slices
1 cup Treasure Cave Blue Cheese
6 good quality whole wheat hamburger buns, split
6 Tablespoons soft butter
6 crisp red leaf lettuce leaves
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Pour Cabernet into a flame-proof skillet. Place on grill to simmer and reduce in half, about 15 minutes. Stir in shallots and cranberries; swirl in butter. Stirring occasionally, sauté about 7 minutes until shallots are tender. Remove from grill Cover with foil to keep warm.
In a small glass bowl, combine maple syrup, mustard and brown sugar. Stir to smoothly blend and dissolve sugar. Set aside.
To make the patties, combine the chuck, maple syrup, parsley, gingerroot and salt. Handling as little as possible, shape into 6 patties. Brush grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack. Brush with the maple sugar glaze. Cover; cook, turning once and basting often with the glaze. About 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium, or longer if one desires well done. With about 2 minutes left to grilli open the cover and top burgers with the slices of brie and sprinkle with the blue cheese. Close the lid for about a minute to slightly melt the cheese.
Open the lid, place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast to a light golden brown.
To assemble the burgers, spread the butter over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a red leaf lettuce leave, a patty, top with Cabernet shallots and cranberries. Add the roll tops and serve. Serves 6