Wine Braised Fig and Caramelized Onion Burger
• 3 large Vidalia onions, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
• 1/4 cup light olive oil
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 3 Tablespoons fig balsamic vinegar (preferably St. Helena’s from Dean and Deluca)
Wine Braised Figs
• 20 fresh black mission figs (or dried mission figs if fresh are not available)
• 1 cup Sutter Home Moscato Wine
• 2 pounds lean ground beef
• 4 Tbsp really cold butter to be grated into meat mixture
• 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt or fresh ground sea salt
• 6 thick slices of Manchego Cheese
• Canola oil, for brushing on the grill rack
• 6 fresh rolls of Ciabatta bread (about 5″ x 4″ in size), split
• 1/2 cup melted butter
Preheat a gas grill to high.
To make the caramelized onions, combine the onion, oil, and salt in a 14-inch or 16-inch fire-proof skillet. Cook the onion mixture for 15-17 minutes, then add in sugar, thyme and fig balsamic vinegar and cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized. Remove the pan from the grill, cover and set aside.
To make the wine braised figs, cut the figs in half and place cut side down into 12-inch fire-proof skillet. Pour wine in with figs and cook until wine has reduced by 2/3. Remove the pan from the grill, cover and set aside.
To make the patties, mix the lean beef, butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Quickly shape the beef mixture into 6 rectangular equally-sized (about 5.5 oz) patties to fit the size and shape of the ciabatta bread rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to grill.
Turn grill temperature to medium high heat.
When all the other elements are complete and the grill is ready for the burgers, brush the grill rack with canola oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once. Grill until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Add a slice of Manchego cheese in the last 2 minutes of cooking to melt.
Meanwhile, brush the melted butter on the top and bottom buns. Turn the heat of grill down to medium low and position the buns, cut side down, and grill 1-2 minutes to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, place the burger on the bun bottom followed by an equal portion of caramelized onions, equal portion of the figs; add the bun tops and serve.