I don’t know what I was thinking trying to make this gourmet burger on a weeknight. But I was determined to make and eat these burgers with our handpicked cherries.
Wednesday was going to be the day I upped our weeknight dinner game with these burgers. As if the children knew it, they simultaneously took a two hour nap. I took full advantage and made the cherry chutney and the caramelized onions. While washing the never ending supply of dirty dishes.
An hour or so before I wanted to have dinner served I started working on the wine reduction for the burger patties. And cooked the bacon. At that point all cooperation was out the window. Treat has taken to being intensely clingy and fussy around 5 o’clock making it difficult to do anything that can’t be done with one hand. Good thing pouring wine in a saucepan over a flame doesn’t require much skill. I kept a watchful eye on the wine but it went from “not quite” to “burnt and sticky” in the blink of peeling an orange.
I had to step away from the stove to recollect myself, wipe Firecracker’s sticky orange hands, and change a couple of diapers. It was now too late to get dinner on the table in time to ensure the new earlier bedtime for the boys. So, we ordered pizza. I would try again tomorrow.
Thursday rolls around and I thought I’d be able to make the reduction and form the burger patties during nap time. Too bad nap time didn’t happen! After fighting with them for an hour I gave up. Very surprisingly Firecracker took his grounding from the TV the rest of the day quite well and pulled every single toy out of his cabinet. Around 4:30 Treat caved in and took an hour nap. During that nap I strapped Firecracker into his seat at the table with some crackers and his laptop. Mission accomplished!
The resulting burger was worth the two day wait! That cherry chutney provides the perfect sweetness to a well balanced burger. And I’ll eat almost anything with caramelized onions on top of it. Smoked Gouda cheese rounded out the burger with its savory bite.
I set aside some of the meat mixture before adding in the wine for the boys. Both boys quite enjoyed their burger patties! Granted, it took me telling Firecracker that there was bacon in it for him to take a bite. His dinner plate was a “deconstructed” cheeseburger: a slice of smoked gouda, a little bread, and his burger patty. Treat was given just the patty followed up with green beans.
Cherry Cabernet Cheeseburgers
Ingredients for the chutney:
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided use
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 C fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1/4 C Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/2 tsp chopped crystallized ginger
- pinch cardamom
Ingredients for the onions:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Ingredients for the burger:
- 1 C Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 6 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 slices smoked Gouda
- 4 buns
- Make the chutney: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Season with S+P. Add the cherries and peppers, toss to coat. Place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast 14 minutes, stirring halfway. Transfer cherries to a medium saucepan and add remaining balsamic vinegar, wine, ginger and cardamom. Simmer 10 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool.
- Make the onions: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and red wine vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and golden. Add more butter or olive oil as needed. Season with S+P to taste. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- Combine wine and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and let reduce to 1/4 C. Allow reduction to cool.
- Form burgers: Combine ground beef, bacon, Worcestershire, and S+P. Mix in the wine reduction. Form into 4 equal sized patties.
- Cook burgers in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, or to desired temperature. Top each patty with cheese and cook until melted.
- Assemble burgers: Place spinach on the bottom bun, top with the cheeseburger, chutney, and caramelized onions.
*This recipe is adapted from Erin at http://thecrumbycupcake.com/cherry-cabernet-burger/*
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