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Bacon Burgers with Bacon-Onion-Balsamic Jam


Serves 4

We all know bacon on a burger is great; this recipe goes a step further and put the bacon in the burger. As if that's not bacon-y enough, the burgers are topped with a savory-sweet bacon-onion jam. Use the best bacon you can find to make these burgers; we especially like dry-cured, applewood-smoked bacon.

For the jam
  • 4 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
For the burgers
  • 2 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
Make the Jam

In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly browned but not yet crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 to 3 Tbs. of bacon fat from the skillet.

Add the onion to the skillet, season with a little salt and pepper, cover the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, add a splash of water, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cover, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and beginning to color, about 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar, mustard, and 1/3 cup water. Return the bacon to the skillet and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has thickened and most of it has been absorbed, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for up to 2 hours, or refrigerate for up to 2 days and gently reheat before serving.

Make the burgers

With a sharp knife or food processor, mince the bacon. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add the ground beef, Worcestershire, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Using a fork, gently toss until well mixed but not overworked. Form into 4 equal patties, each 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Press your thumb in the center of each patty to create a deep depression.

Making an indentation in the center of each burger keeps them from swelling up into mini basketballs on the grill.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over medium-high heat (400°F to 450°F). Grill the burgers over direct heat until grill marks form, 4 to 5 minutes (move them to indirect heat if any flare-ups occur). Flip the burgers and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more for medium (a faintly pink center). For more well done, cook an additional minute.

Transfer the burgers to a plate and tent them with aluminum foil. Toast the cut sides of the buns on the grill until golden grill marks form,about 1 minute. Serve the burgers on the buns, topped with a rounded 1/4 cup of the jam.

Make Ahead Tips

The bacon-onion jam can be made a day or two ahead, refrigerated, and gently reheated before spooning it onto the burgers.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 630, Fat (kcal): 37, Fat Calories (g): 330, Saturated Fat (g): 13, Protein (g): 44, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16, Carbohydrates (mg): 29, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3.5, Sodium (g): 1310, Cholesterol (g): 135, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Great recipe! Very quick and easy way to boost the flavor of a typical burger!

Excellent! I live in an apartment with no where to grill so I browned the burgers in a skillet. So juicy and savory! I stirred the leftover bacon-onion-balsamic jam into some ramen and put some on a chicken sandwich. It is versatile and delicious.

These burgers were incredible! A huge fan of cheese, I generally shy away from burgers that don't slap some on top melt away, but these were worth omitting of any of my dairy delight! The burgers themselves were drip down your face juicy (which is sometimes rare when grilled) but the bacon onion jam was killer! I am trying to think of other ways to use the stuff....Great recipe FC!

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