Wisconsin Cheesehead Butter Burger

Pairs well with:


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


1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
12 slices thick-cut hickory smoked bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground Angus beef
1/2 pound Wisconsin braut (bratwurst), finely chopped
3 tablespoons Wisconsin beer (lager)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
4 ounces Wisconsin Colby Cheese, shredded
4 ounces Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 Bibb lettuce leaves



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

To make the Herb Butter, in a small bowl combine butter, parsley, and basil; mix until well combined.

Heat a large non-stick fireproof skillet on the grill; add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes, flipping once. Drain on paper towels.

To make the patties, combine the beef, braut, beer, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and flatten into 6 disks. Place a heaping tablespoon of the Herb Butter in the center of each disk, then bring up the meat to enclose the butter. Form into six patties to fit the rolls.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers equal amounts of Colby and White Cheddar cheeses and place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Herb Butter on the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a cheese-topped patty, and 2 slices of Hickory Smoked Bacon. Add the roll tops and serve.