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Braeswood Bacon Burger with Tangy Cheddar Coleslaw

Summertime grilling is a way of life in Gulf Coast Texas. However, in Texas coleslaw is usually served as an accompaniment to burgers and is not traditionally used as a burger topping. At our house in the Braeswood neighborhood of South West Houston, burgers topped with Tangy Cheddar Coleslaw are a long time favorite with family and friends. The kids especially love their burgers garnished with bacon that adds an additional salty bite. Thus, the "Braeswood Bacon Burger with Tangy Cheddar Coleslaw" was born. From my family to yours, bon appetit y'all.


Tangy Cheddar Coleslaw
1/2 of a small green cabbage
2 large carrots
1 bunch of green onions
6 oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Colavita aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (1/2 tsp for the coleslaw and 2 tsp for the patties)
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (1 tsp for the coleslaw and 1 tsp for the patties)
1 small Vidalia or Texas sweet onion
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
12 strips of thick cut sugar cured bacon (not smoked)
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 Kaiser onion rolls, split
1 large beefsteak tomato
2 Tbsp ketchup


To make the tangy cheddar coleslaw, trim, wash and core the cabbage. Peel the carrots and trim the ends. In a food processor fitted with a grating blade, shred the cabbage, carrots and the cheddar. Slice the green onions across the stalk to create very thin green rings. Place the green onions and the mixture of shredded vegetables and cheese into a large mixing bowl and toss until all elements are evenly distributed. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp fresh ground pepper to the slaw and mix with a wooden spoon until salad is well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. To make the patties, chop the onion in the food processor until well minced. Place the ground chuck, the minced onions, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper and the zinfandel in a mixing bowl and mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form each into 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick patties. Cover the patties and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. In a non-stick frying pan placed on the grill, cook the bacon until just crispy. Drain the cooked bacon on paper towels keeping the slices flat. Cut each slice of bacon in half cross-wise and set aside. Brush the grill rack liberally with vegetable oil. Lightly toast the inside surface of the split Kaiser rolls on the grill, put the roll halves back together and keep on the grill away from the fire so they stay warm but don't dry out. Cut the beefsteak tomato cross-wise to yield 6 equal slices each about 1/8 inch thick and set aside. Place the patties on the rack and cook covered for 2-3 minutes until browned with nice grill marks. Turn the patties over and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until internal temperature is 130-150 degrees Fahrenheit (medium-rare to medium-well done) depending on preference. To assemble the burgers, place 2 tsp ketchup on the bottom half of each toasted Kaiser roll. Place 1 tomato slice on top of the ketchup followed by 4 pieces of bacon arranged in a cross hatched pattern. Place the burger patty over the bacon and top with a generous serving of the tangy cheddar coleslaw. Cover the burgers with the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers


The cool tangy coleslaw and the salty bacon combine to accentuate the flavor of the beef and create a burger that is juicy and irresistible.