Willamette Valley Smokey-Chipotle Bacon Ranch Burger

Pairs well with:


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


Chipotle Ranch Spread
½-cup whole milk
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper sauce
2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce seeded and finely chopped ½-cup mayonnaise
12 thick bacon slices
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
1-tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup dry ranch seasoning
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce
¼ cup Zinfandel
4 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce seeded and finely chopped
3 egg yolks (well beaten)
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill
6 (5 inch) soft Kaiser Rolls split
6 slices Chipotle cheddar cheese
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 ¼ inch thick sliced large tomatoes slices



•Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. •To make the ranch spread, combine milk, pepper sauce, ranch seasoning, chile, and mayonnaise in a medium bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. •Place the bacon in a large fireproof skillet, cook on the grill 6-8 minutes or until almost done. Sprinkle with chile powder, ranch seasoning, and brown sugar. Remove from grill and transfer to wax paper. Let cool. •To make the patties, combine ground chuck, salt, ranch seasoning, pepper sauce, Zinfandel, chilies, and egg yolks in a large bowl. Handle the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the rolls. •Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice. •To assemble the burgers, spread the chipotle ranch over the cut sides of the toasted rolls. On each roll bottom, add ½ cup of the shredded lettuce, a patty, an equal portion of bacon, and 1 tomato slice. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers