I really love grilled beef that has been soaked in red wine. However, it’s kinda hard to do with a burger. To get over that little hump, I reduced a hearty zinfandel wine with finely chopped shallots until there was next to nothing left of the wine. All that red wine deliciousness gets stored into the shallots and the mixed in with the ground beef. The shallots pull double-duty — in addition to holding all that wonderful zinfandel flavor, they also provide a little extra moisture to the burgers. Win-win!
TIP: As always, I recommend around 18% fat in the ground beef mixture. If you are not grinding your own meat, do what I did with these burgers. Buy a pound each or 80% lean ground chuck (more fat = more flavor) and 85% lean ground top sirloin.
Red Wine and Herb Burgers
makes six burgers
1/2 cup Zinfandel or other red wine
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sliced white cheddar cheese
Potato buns, for serving
Lettuce, tomatoes, and assorted condiments, for serving
Combine the wine and shallots in a small saucepan. Over high heat, reduce the wine down to until there is only about 1 tablespoon remaining. Remove from heat and cool.
In a medium mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the red wine shallots, ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and shape into patties slightly larger than the buns. Season both sides of the patties with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Prepare your grill for direct cooking over high heat. Brush and oil the grate before you begin cooking. Place the burgers on the preheated grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side. During the final minute, top each burger with a slice of cheese and close the cover until the cheese is just melted. Remove burgers from grill and place the buns cut side down on the grill for 1 minute or so until toasted. Assemble burgers to your liking and serve.
Note: when using store-bought beef, always cook burgers to an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Here’s a great video for burger grilling tips:
Cheers and Happy Grilling!