You Gotta Ciabatta Burger with Grilled Apples, Brown Sugar Bacon and Roasted Onion Mayo
Roasted Onion Mayo:
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons Riesling wine
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
Brown Sugar Bacon:
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
12 slices thick cut bacon, cut in half
¾ cup softened butter
6 square ciabatta sandwich rolls
2 tablespoons coarse ground garlic salt
2 ¼ pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
1/3 cup reserved roasted onions
¼ cup Riesling Wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced very thin
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill
1 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
To make the roasted onion mayo, heat grill to medium. Place the onions, salt, pepper, wine and olive oil in a fire-proof skillet and stir to combine ingredients. Place skillet on the grill and close cover. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing several times, until the onions are very tender. When onions are tender, remove from grill and cool (for about 30 minutes). When cool, set aside 1/3 cup for the burger patties. Place remaining onions in a food processor. Pulse several times to finely chop. Add the mayonnaise and pulse until smooth and combined. Cover and chill until ready for use.
To make the brown sugar bacon, heat grill to medium. Combine brown sugar and mustard in a shallow dish. Press each slice of bacon into the brown sugar mixture – rubbing the mixture into both sides. Place the bacon flat on a baking rack (do not overlap). Place the baking rack on a fire-proof baking sheet or several pieces of foil with the edges turned up to catch the drippings. Place the rack and pan on the grill. Cook bacon, turning often to avoid burning, until the bacon is a dark amber color and firm, 10-15 minutes. Bacon may need to be done in more than one batch. When done, carefully remove baking rack and allow the bacon to cool for 3 minutes. Gently remove bacon from the baking rack, place on a plate and cover. Set aside.
To prepare the ciabatta buns, spread softened butter on the inside of the buns (top and bottom) and sprinkle with garlic salt. Set aside.
To make burger patties, heat grill to medium-high. Combine meat, onions, wine, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl with a spoon. Divide beef into 6 equal portions and form into 6 square shaped patties, making an indentation in the center of each patty. Brush oil on grill. Place patties on the grill and cover. Cook, turning once, for 5-7 minutes per side until done to desired preference. Place cheese on burgers and close grill to melt, for 1-3 minutes. While cheese melts, place buns, buttered side down, on outer edges of grill to lightly toast. Remove burgers and buns from grill.
To make the grilled apples, sprinkle the lemon juice and butter over the apples in a bowl. Toss to combine. After burgers are off the grill, place apple slices on grill (on top rack if available). Cook apples, turning once for 1-2 minutes per side until the apples start to sweat and just begin to soften. Remove to plate.
To assemble the burger, spread a generous amount of roasted onion mayo on the buttered sides of both the top and bottom of the ciabatta bun. Place a grilled patty on the bottom bun. Put 3-4 slices of brown sugar bacon on top of the patty, followed by 2 slices of the grilled apples. Top with the mayo-spread bun top. Enjoy!
Makes 6 burgers.