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Kentucky Bourbon Burgers with Roasted Red Onion and Rocket

This marinade worked so well for beef roasts, pork and turkey tenderloins, that I thought it would be a perfect match for a burger. The addition of roasted red onion, smoked cheddar and a peppery rocket(arugula) seemed to be a natural compliment.


Bourbon Marinade
1/2 cup Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Lite Soy sauce
1/4 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 sun dried tomato in oil, chopped
1 lb ground chuck
1 lb ground sirloin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 red onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick, round slices
Olive oil, for brushing on the onion slices
Olive oil, for brushing on the grill
6 oz of a good smoked cheddar (preferably maple or apple smoked), sliced
12 slices of a good artisan farmer's bread
1-1/2 cups of shredded Rocket (Arugula)


To make the marinade, place the bourbon, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, olive oil, pepper sauce, pepper, garlic and sun-dried tomato in a blender and puree for about 30 seconds. Set aside. To prepare patties, combine the ground chuck, ground sirloin and salt in a mixing bowl and mix together with your hands. Be gentle and do not over mix or the burgers will be tough. Form the burger mixture into six burgers, about 5-1/2 oz patties. Try to keep the patties between 1/2" and 3/4" thick. Gently push a small 1" circular divot in the center of each patty. This will help to keep the burger from contracting into a thick ball when cooked. Pour half of the bourbon marinade into a shallow casserole dish larger enough to hold all six patties. Place patties into the dish and pour the remaining marinade over the top. Cover dish with plastic wrap and marinade for at least one hour. Turn the patties over after 30 minutes. Spear the red onion slices with flat metal skewers for easier turning, brush with olive oil and set aside. Preheat gas grill to a medium-high heat. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with oil. Place patties and onion skewers on the rack, close lid and cook, turning once, until done preference, about 5-6 minutes on each side for medium. Place leftover bourbon marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil on the grill rack while patties are cooking. During the last few minutes of cooking, lay cheese slices on burgers and place bread slices on outer edges of the grill rack to warm and toast lightly, remembering to flip and toast both sides. To assemble, place one toasted slice of bread on the plate, brush lightly with the warm marinade, cover with cheese-melted patty, then a roasted red onion slice and finally 1/6th of the shredded Rocket. Cover with the other toasted slice of bread lightly brushed with the warm marinade and serve. Makes 6 servings.


If allowed, I prefer I to skip brushing the toasted bread with marinade and instead serve it on the side as a dipping sauce. I wasn't sure if that would be allowed, so included the above version just in case. If allowed, I would like to go the dipping sauce approach, otherwise keep as is. Thanks.