Kayak surfer

2021, OUR 25TH YEAR

Story and photos by Lynn Rosen and as attributed

Burger Berger with wines
Burgers and Bergers paired to perfection (Courtesy Kiona Vineyards)

Did you ever have an unusual great burger at a restaurant paired with the perfect wines that you just wanted put together in your own kitchen? Well, the best way to do that is to share the wealth with good friends, so why not invite them over - making sure everyone has been vaccinated and boosted - dive in together and start from scratch?

After getting the recipe from the restaurant’s chef - in this case neighborhood bistro Pioneer Square D&E, Head Chef Anthony Tran - we gathered all the necessary ingredients and cooking equipment. Tran had paired this recipe with Kiona Vineyards and Grosgrain Winery wines - Kiona Estate Red Mountain Lemberger and Grosgrain 2020 Lemberger Pétillant Naturel. Kiona has been growing this uncommon Lemberger grape for about the last 30 of its 46 years and over time this wine has grown into a cult offering to those in the know.

  Burger Berger Kiona Vineyard owners  

Burger Berger

Three generations of the Williams family, owners of Kiona Vineyards, Red Mountain, Walla Walla, WA. Courtesy Kiona Vineyards
Grosgrain 2020 Lemberger Pétillant Naturel (L) and Kiona Estate Red Mountain Lemberger (R) Courtesy Kiona Vineyards

Here’s the unusual recipe from Head Chef Tran, Pioneer Square D&E:

Duck Burger with Shitake Mushrooms and Red Wine Demi-Glace
1/4 pound shitake mushrooms (minced)
5 garlic cloves (minced)
2 shallots (minced)
2 pounds ground duck breast
1 whole egg
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
3 Tbsp ground ginger powder
1/4 cup ground sage
3 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp black pepper

Yield: 4 8oz. patties

Sauté mushrooms, garlic, and shallots. When cooled, mix with rest of ingredients and form into patties. Add patties to pot of boiling water for 25-18 minutes or when temp reaches 165. Then pan sear or grill for a nice crust and serve.

Here is the recipe for the Demi-Glacé, which we opted not to use, but instead substituted a splash of soy sauce as individuals desired. It was a delicious alternative and provided just the right spicy bite.

Red Wine Demi-Glace
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups soy sauce
1 cup red wine
1 cup brown sugar

Combine chicken stock and soy sauce, reduce by half. Add red wine and brown sugar and reduce by half again. Compile ingredients and serve on bun.

  Burger berger ingredients   Burger Berger saute   Burger Berger hands saute  
Ingredients at the ready for assembly
Garlic, shallots, and mushrooms in the sauté pan
Too many cooks this time make everything better

As you can see, the original recipe calls for ground duck breast, but ground turkey was readily available, so that was what we used. You could also add more garlic and mushrooms and less salt, but that’s up to the chef de cuisine of the moment. We did not use buns, but served burgers with a huge Caesar salad.

  Burger Berger turkey spices   Burger Berger spanking  
Ground turkey with spices, egg, and bread crumbs ready for smooshing
After kneading together the unusual ingredients, spanking the patties
  Burger Berger boiling   Burger Berger sauté  
Boiling the burgers
Next step - searing the boiled burgers

We started with mincing duties, then tossed those ingredients into a sauté pan. After cooling, we combined this mix with the rest of the ingredients and formed seven patties. We were seven at the table and were well-fed with smaller patties.

  Burger Berger seared   Burger Berger at table  
Burgers seared and ready to serve
The final reward of adventures in the kitchen

Wines were poured, enjoyed and the parings appreciated. All agreed that the unusual parings of both ingredients and wines worked deliciously well. It was especially sweet to gather and make dinner together and it seemed just like university days again with everyone cooking, mincing, mixing, and ‘spanking the patties’ as our spanker chef characterized the forming of the final burgers. BTY - no one had ever boiled burgers before - but it all worked!

  Lynn Rosen is an Emmy award-winning TV broadcaster, producer and director, and has been on the Journalism and Theatre faculties at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. She’s also a theater critic, travel writer, published author, fearless skier and belongs to the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) and the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).   Lynn Rosen