Sometimes you just need a juicy messy burger. We took the opportunity for a Valentine’s Day indulgence, although, really, anytime is a good time for a burger.
The Perfect Burgers
We start with my go-to recipe for burgers from Bobby Flay.
Use an 80/20 blend to keep your burger juicy. Bobby’s recipe is simple, a thumbprint in the center of each burger keeps them cooking evenly.
We top our burger with sautéed shitake mushrooms, blue cheese, arugula, and bacon jam. Yes, bacon jam. You get that recipe below and trust me, bacon jam is life-changing.
For a side? Cheddar Cheese corn-chips (ours were Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips). They are the perfect junk food snack to pair with Cabernet Sauvignon.
So spoil yourself, or a loved one or a friend! But go ahead and indulge in this burger!
L’Ecole No. 41 2017 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
We paired this with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington. This was from L’Ecole No. 41 and it is their 2017 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
This Cabernet comes from Washington’s largest AVA the Columbia Valley AVA. It covers a full 1/3 of the landmass of Washington. It is sourced from vineyards across this AVA that L’Ecole No. 41 has built a relationship with over the years.
The wine has notes of black currant, blackberry, and spice on the nose. It is soft and round in its mouthfeel with soft suede-like tannins that coat your mouth unevenly. On the palate, in addition to the fruit notes, I found dusty cocoa and mocha notes.
It is 100% Cab Sav from the Columbia Valley AVA and runs $29.00.
*We received this wine as a media sample. No other compensation was received. All opinions are our own.
Cook the bacon jam first. It takes a bit more time than the burgers. You can even make it ahead of time and just reheat it slightly to use on the burgers.
This recipe does call for a ½ lb of bacon and you end up with about ½ cup of jam, but trust me it is worth it.
Crisp up the bacon and reserve the bacon grease. Cook some onion and garlic in some of that grease. Chop the bacon up and add it and brown sugar to the onions. Cook a little then some dried cranberries, some Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, and a little bit of water, and cook this until it’s syrupy. This will keep in the fridge for about a week (if you can keep from eating it all!)
You can cook the burgers and the mushrooms at the same time. I hadn’t thought about it, but you could probably cook them in the same pan.
I used my rod iron skillet for the burgers and a smaller pan for the mushrooms. The mushrooms just get a little olive oil. You can add soy to season, but if you are pairing with a Cabernet Sauvignon, don’t. The cooked soy on the shitakes just somehow doesn’t work.
Cooking the burger
The burgers need to be about 6 ounces (a little kitchen scale is great here) and should be ¾ inch thick each. Put that thumbprint in the middle and season with salt and pepper. Add a little oil to your pan (something neutral like canola) and heat it up. Add the burgers and they do 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other (for medium-rare, which is how we like our burgers). Add the cheese, put a lid on, and cook for one last minute to melt the cheese.
Based on Bobby Flay's recipe for the Perfect Burger which keeps your burgers perfectly juicy! It's important to use at least 80/20 ground beef to keep the burgers juicy and the thumbprint? Well, a thumbprint in the middle is key to keeping the burgers cooking evenly.
We topped our burgers with sautéed shitake mushrooms, blue cheese, arugula, and bacon jam. Don't worry, there is a recipe for that too!
- 5 Shitake mushrooms
- 2 tbs olive oil
- ¾ lb ground beef (ideally 80/20)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 2 tbs Canola oil
- 2 tbs Blue Cheese
- 2 hamburger buns
- 1 tbsp bacon jam
Prep the Mushrooms
1. Clean and slice the mushrooms
2. Heat a pan with olive oil, add mushrooms
3. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes
Cooking the Burger
1. Divide the meat into 6-ounce portions, (a kitchen scale comes in handy here). Form each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the canola oil in a rod iron skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the burgers. Cook 3 minutes (they should be golden and charred on the bottom). Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the blue cheese on top. Pop a lid on and cook one more minute. This gets the burgers to medium-rare, if you like your burgers less rare, add some time to each side.
4. Place on a bottom bun (with mayo) top the burger with mushrooms, bacon jam, and the top bun. Need some green? Add a bit of arugula!
Serve with Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips. No really, especially if you are sipping a Cabernet Sauvignon with this burger. It's the perfect pairing.
Amount Per Serving Calories 871Total Fat 61gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 40gCholesterol 158mgSodium 770mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 53g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.