Monday, August 20, 2012

Recipe: Bacon and Blue Cheese Burgers with Caramelized Onions

With the weather starting to cool down ever-so-slightly, we're trying to get the most out of our grill before we pack it away for the fall and winter months. We had steak and grilled red potatoes with asparagus last night, and enjoyed a few s'mores after that hearty meal (which I followed up with a raucous round of "chase the cats around the yard" to help burn off a few of those calories). Tonight, we decided on burgers, and, in the mood for something a little more exciting that your standard cheeseburger, we decided on bacon and blue cheese burgers, brushed with Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce and topped with caramelized onions. Paired with a fresh salad of baby greens and some beers, we had the perfect late summer dinner.

Yields: Approx 6-8 burgers (about 3-4 inches around), plus approx. 1 cup caramelized onions
Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Approx. 8 minutes for the burgers; at least 30 minutes for the onions
Difficulty: Easy

  • Approx. 8 strips bacon (I used applewood smoked—great flavor), or more as desired
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles, or more as desired
  • Approx. 1 lb., 8 oz. lean (90%-93%) ground beef
  • 2-4 tbsp. of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 Recipe sauce, which I highly recommend), plus more to add to the finished burgers
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • Hamburger buns, as needed

In a large pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until slightly crispy, then set aside on a paper towel-covered plate to drain. Set the pan aside, leaving the bacon fat in it. In a large bowl, add the blue cheese, BBQ sauce, ground beef, and salt and pepper. Crumble the bacon into the mixture and mix to combine. Form the mixture into patties, being sure to press a fingertip into the center of each one to help them cook up properly. Set aside. Heat the pan with bacon fat over medium-high heat and add the onion slices. Allow to cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized (brown, sweet, and soft). Keep the pan over low heat, and in the meantime, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Cook the burgers until cooked to desired doneness, then place them on buns, top each with caramelized onions, and add more BBQ sauce as desired. Serve with a side of your choice (we chose salads, to add freshness to this rich, bacon-y meal).

This bacon and blue cheese combination, mixed with tangy-smokey BBQ, creates a perfect burger—the kind of burger you could find on the menu of any burger joint or "American-style" restaurant. These burgers are rich, hearty, meaty, and perfect for you bacon-lovers out there. Paired with a beer and fries, a tossed salad, or potato chips, they're even better.

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