Burgers. Delicious burgers. If it’s a beautiful summer day, grill up some burgers. On the other hand, if it is cold outside and you are looking for something to take you back to the mindset of summer time, you guessed it. Grill up some burgers!
While a standard burger with mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, cheese is sometimes just what will hit the spot, we wanted to kick it up a notch. So what did we do? We mixed in some blue cheese, added some bacon, and tossed out the ketchup and mustard bringing in cherry compote. This turned out to be one extremely rich and decadent burger. Luckily for me, the recipe made 3 burgers, there were only two of us. The result – awesome burgers for Dinner and Lunch. When would a Bacon Blue Cheese Burger with Cherry Compote not be delicious? For breakfast? pfff…of course it would be delicious even for breakfast. I just happened to forget about it at that hour of the day.
Now, I’m not one to turn my nose up at grilling in the rain, but as it turned out, our propane tank decided to register as empty on us the night of the grill (I can hear you now, “Amateur, a true grill-master would never let their tank reach empty without a backup tank on hand”. Guilty as charged). So instead of making the trek to snag a new tank of propane, we brought the grilling inside. The one challenge of this for us was the fact that our stove top fan does not exactly possess a ton of power. Our apartment became a smoke-filled, burger-scented palace following the grilling session. There are worse things to deal with in life.
We also elected to produce some homemade fries to accompany our burgers. It just didn’t feel right using frozen pre-cut starch sticks when we were enjoying a burger masterpiece. Lisa has made fries on numerous occasions in the past, but I took charge this time, and let me tell you, they really weren’t that bad to make! They also have the added benefit of impressing your guests. They are leaps and bounds better than store-bought fries. The only thing to keep in mind is that they take a substantial amount of time to cook and if you forget to spray some oil on the pan before you lay the fries out to cook, you will have a stuck-to-the-pan mess (again, guilty as charged, but don’t fret, they taste just as delicious).
Choosing your wine
So why did we decide to go with the flavor combinations that you get with a bacon blue cheese burger with cherry compote? Cabernet Sauvignon.
I wanted a meal to go with Cabernet Sauvignon. We exist, it is true. That is, people who choose their meals based on the wine they want to drink. While this isn’t an everyday occurrence, what I find when I pick a wine and then pursue a meal to go with it, is that I get creative. I’m no longer going with the standard weekly options that come to mind (pizza, tacos, spaghetti). I start coming up with a range of ideas to pair with the wine of desire, many don’t see the light of day. That is probably for the best. But sometimes, things like this burger are born. And it is beautiful.
Knowing that we wanted to pair a dish with a Cabernet Sauvignon, we decided to start with meat (and thus the first two ingredients were selected – beef and bacon), next we wanted to diversify the flavors with a good complimentary flavor – blue cheese. These three items alone would make a burger that pairs extremely well with Cabernet Sauvignon, but we wanted to take it a step further.
Cabernet Sauvignon can possess rich dark cherry notes and we wanted to emphasize this characteristic. So we began determining ways to bring cherry in to the mix. Lisa gets the credit for the idea for cherry compote (confession: I had no clue what it was before making it). This seemed like an ideal match. It wouldn’t be too strong of a flavor that it overtook the wine’s flavor profile, while not be so subtle that it was overwhelmed by the bacon and blue cheese. The outcome of the combination of the flavors in this burger? Pure bliss. So whether you are reading this in the middle of summer or the dead of winter, just know that it is a treat that will pair wonderfully with the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon you’ve been dreaming of drinking.
- 16 oz Ground Beef (80% lean, often titled 80/20)
- 3 oz Blue Cheese (Crumbled)
- 2 teaspoons Johnny's Seasoning Salt (or standard seasoning salt blend)
- 6-8 strips of bacon
- 3-4 Brioche Buns
- 1 cup Apple Brandy
- 20 oz Pitless Cherries (Frozen or Fresh)
- ⅔ cup Sugar
- If cherries are frozen, allow to thaw before use.
- Combine all compote ingredients (Brandy, Cherries, Sugar) in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low / medium and allow to simmer until cherries are soft (approx. 10 minutes).
- Transfer cherries to a separate bowl.
- Simmer the remaining juice until it begins to thicken (20-25 minutes).
- Reduce heat to warm/low, transfer cherries back in to thickened juice.
- Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Cook bacon until slightly crisped (I prefer to cook mine in the oven, but any method is just fine), set aside on paper towel to eliminate excess oil.
- Blend beef, blue cheese and seasoning salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Form 3-4 equally sized patties with your burger mix. Place in fridge until ready to grill.
- Preheat grill to high heat (or pre-heat a large pan on medium-high/high on stove top).
- Preheat oven to broil with a rack placed at a level about 6 inches from top heat source (if browning buns is desired).
- Grill patties until well done (a nice golden brown coloring and crisping), approx. 5 mins per side.
- Butter the inside parts of the brioche buns, and place under broiler, buttered side up, until browned.
- Place grilled patty on bottom brioche bun
- Add bacon
- Place desired amount of cherry compote, (5-6 cherries, and a solid drizzling of juice to coat bacon and patty for me).
- For proper presentation, leave top bun off the stack so your guests can enjoy the glory of cherry compote gracing their burger's presence.
Looking for an awesome french fry recipe? Check out this super simple and delicious oven fries recipe by Ellie Krieger. They go wonderfully with the Bacon Blue Cheese Burger with Cherry Compote.