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Oktoberfest Burgers with Tilsit Cheese & Wunderbar Apple Relish

I was fortunate to spend several months in Germany and enjoyed many of the foods and flavors I've incorporated into this recipe.


Apple Relish:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups grated peeled and cored apples
1/3 cup minced onion
1/3 cup finely diced Cornichons
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds ground pork shoulder
Pumpernickel & Onion pretzel rods, processed to 1/2 cup coarse crumbs
1/3 cup Shiraz
3 tablespoons horseradish
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
6 slices Tilsit Cheese
6 Poppy seed Kaiser rolls, split
1/2 cup German mustard
12 strips pre-cooked apple-wood-smoked bacon


• Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. • To make the relish, when the grill is ready, add vinegar and sugar to a small, heavy fire-proof saucepan. Place saucepan on the grill rack and heat the vinegar high enough to dissolve sugar. Remove pan from grill rack, pour vinegar into a medium bowl and cool for 10 minutes. When vinegar is cool, stir in apples, onion, cornichons, celery seed, pepper and salt. Cover and set aside. • To make the patties, spread the pork out in a large shallow pan. Evenly distribute pretzel crumbs, Shiraz, horseradish, pepper and salt over the meat. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the rolls. • When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until fully cooked, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF. During the last few minutes of cooking, place 1 slice of Tilsit cheese on each patty, and place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of grill to toast lightly. • To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom spread an equal portion of the mustard. Add 2 bacon strips, a patty and an equal portion of the apple relish. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.


I like this burger - no - love this burger with a glass of Shiraz.