I can't remember the last time I had a burger. A real burger, I mean, not the veggie kind. It must be a good five or six years, at least. In fact, meat isn't a big part of my diet in general. I find it's more of a treat that way, and when I do indulge I don't feel bad about spending a few extra dollars on the good stuff... and by good stuff, I mean locally raised, grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone free stuff. I won't get all heavy on you about the ethics of it all, but let me just say the quality of ingredients matters. Splurge a little -- buy the good stuff -- you'll thank yourself for it.
When The Husband requested that I make these burgers, I actually had to double check that I had heard him right. As I said, we don't eat a lot of meat, and when we do it isn't usually meat on top of meat on a bun... but once I was certain what he wanted, it didn't take me long to get on board with the idea.
This is some serious man-food we're talking about. Man-food to the max. The only thing that would make this burger better (and manlier) would be some nice, smoky, char-grilled flavor. I don't have a grill, but if I did you can bet these burgers would be on it.
It's like patriotism on a bun. I don't know what that says about our country, but it was damn tasty, I'll give it that.
Recipe Notes: I like to do my bacon for these burgers in the oven, this way I can work on the burgers while it cooks, and the bacon comes out flat and evenly crispy, making it perfect for sandwiching.
I used my Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Barbecue Sauce I made last week (click for the recipe), and it really made this burger shine. Be careful, though, because once you make a batch you might just be hooked!
Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburgers
Makes four burgers
1 lb. bacon
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 small yellow onion, diced fine
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
pinch of ground black pepper
Homemade barbecue sauce (click for recipe)
Lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and any other toppings you like
For the bacon:
1. Preheat the oven to 400f..
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spread the strips of bacon onto it. Place the strips close together, but not overlapping.
3. Bake on the center rack for 15-18 minutes, or until your bacon is cooked to your preferred crunchiness. Be sure to keep an eye on it towards the end of cooking so it doesn't get burned.
4. Remove from oven, and transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
For the burgers:
1. Preheat your grill, or use a pan on the stove over medium-high heat.
2. In a bowl, gently stir together the ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Divide the mixture into quarters, and shape each one into a ball. Gently press each ball into a patty, about 1/2 inch thick. In the center of each patty, make a small indentation with your thumb -- this will help your burgers to stay flat while cooking.
3. Place the patties on your preheated grill, or a lightly oiled pan. The time your burgers take to cook will depend on how thick the patties are, how hot your grill or pan is, and how well done you like your meat. 4-5 minutes per side should be enough for a medium-well burger, but if you aren't sure you can take a patty off the heat and peak inside with a knife. Or, if you want to be precise, use an instant-read thermometer. The USDA recommends that ground beef be cooked to at least 160f., but keep in mind that it will mean a well-done burger!
4. Remove the burgers to a place and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This will keep all the juices from spilling out when you bite into it. Meanwhile, toast your buns and prep any other ingredients you plan to use.
5. Assemble, serve, and devour!