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Red-Eye Glazed Buffalo Burgers with Rustic Onion Jam

I created this recipe after my dad suggested a "Wagons West!" burger idea. He came up with all kinds of "ideas" to help me hoping that I could use one to create a winning recipe so that he could join me on a trip to Sutter Home Winery. He thinks that if I use one of his ideas to create a winning recipe that I will ask him to join me as my guest instead of taking my husband on the trip! Dad is not a foodie at all, so in jest his idea was a plain burger between two pieces of hardtack. However, I saw the opportunity for a more gourmet burger using some of the great flavors one might have found traveling by covered wagon along the American frontier -- buffalo, coffee and rustic potato rolls. Then I jazzed it up a bit with some sun dried tomato spread, wine and Asiago cheese. I hope I did Dad's idea proud.


2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sun dried tomato spread
2 Tablespoons plus 3/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel Wine, divided usage
6 slices hickory smoked bacon
3 medium Vidalia sweet onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick and quartered 3 large fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
4 teaspoons corn starch 
oil to brush on grill rack
2 pounds ground buffalo
2 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 ounces Asiago cheese, freshly grated
2-1/2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup espresso coffee
2 teaspoons chipotle flavored hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup butter, softened
6 large rustic potato rolls, split
6 ounces pre-washed fresh baby spinach leaves


Prepare a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill with lid. To prepare sun dried tomato spread, in small bowl whisk cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in tomato spread and 2 Tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel Wine; cover and refrigerate. To prepare onion jam, place 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet on grill. Add bacon and cook 6 to 10 minutes until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel lined plate to drain; when cool enough to handle, crumble bacon into generous sized pieces. Discard all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease from pan. To the 1 Tablespoon grease in pan, add onions and jalapeno peppers. Stirring often, cook 10 to 12 minutes until just beginning to soften. In small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel Wine and corn starch until smooth. Gradually stir wine mixture into onion mixture. Cook additional 1 to 2 minutes until onion mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in crumbled bacon; keep warm. Oil grill rack. To prepare burgers, combine buffalo, salt and Asiago cheese in large bowl. Handling the mixture as little as possible, mix well. Divide into six equal portions and form into patties sized to fit the rolls. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with black pepper and gently press to adhere. To make red-eye glaze, in small bowl stir together espresso and hot pepper sauce. Place patties on grill; baste with red-eye glaze and cook 3-5 minutes. Turn patties; baste with more red-eye glaze and cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until desired doneness. Spread butter over the cut sides of each roll. Place rolls, cut side down, on grill until lightly toasted. To serve, spread sun dried tomato spread over the cut side of each bottom roll piece. Top each with an equal portion of spinach, a burger patty, an equal portion of onion jam and a roll top. Makes 6.


My best wishes and thank you for your time in reading this recipe.