Recipe: Beef Burgers with Cabernet Onion Jam

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

A sweet, rich onion topping enhances the umami, or savory flavor, of these burgers. Look for 93% lean ground beef, which is enough fat to keep the burgers moist and tender, and lean enough to keep them healthy.

Work the burgers as little as possible to prevent them from becoming dry. Form them into nice even patties that hold together, but try not to compact the meat too much. Also, indent the top with your thumb. Burgers puff when they cook, and that indentation keeps the top nice and flat — which helps the bun stay on!

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Serve this meal with:

Tester’s Notes

The Cabernet onion jam really made this burger special, but still simple and tasty. I liked how the wine and balsamic vinegar added a bit of tang and a beautiful color to this tasty condiment. The onion jam can be made a day or two ahead, and it would be delicious on turkey burgers or other sandwiches if you have extra.

Christine, July 2015

0 Ratings

Beef Burgers with Cabernet Onion Jam



  • 1 tablespoon

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 cups

    very thinly sliced red onion (from 2 medium red onions)

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    salt, divided

  • 2/3 cup

    Cabernet Sauvignon wine

  • 1 tablespoon

    balsamic vinegar

  • 1 1/4 pounds

    lean ground beef

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    black pepper

  • 2 ounces

    thinly sliced Gruyere cheese

  • 4

    (2-ounce) sourdough or Kaiser rolls



  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid is nearly gone, 12 to 14 minutes longer (25 to 30 minutes total). Cover and set aside.

  2. Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking (400° to 500°F). Brush the grates lightly with oil.

  3. Mix the beef, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper with a fork; form into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Press your thumb in the center of each burger to form an indentation. Grill the patties 4 to 5 minutes, turn and grill another 4 minutes, and top with the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and the burger is cooked to desired degree of doneness (160° for medium).

  4. Place the burger on the bottom half of the roll; top with the onion jam and close the sandwich.

Recipe Notes

Stovetop Burgers: You can also cook these burgers on the stove top. Get the directions here.