Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The All-American Bacon-Crusted Burger with Thousand Island Mayo

This is one manly burger. It made a man out of me, that's for sure. As you know, every now and then, I try to make a dinner for my Mountain Man, specifically tailored to his taste buds. And burgers are on that short list of dishes he just loves. Any kind of burger you can think of, he likes. But to be honest, he's kind of the classic burger guy. He wants a burger cooked perfectly, and then stacked with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and all the other fixin's. So, since we have tackled all sorts of weird burgers, we thought that we should make a classic, all-american burger, just kicked up a notch. The patties of this burger are ridiculous. They are made up of half ground chuck and half ground bacon. Yep, I said ground bacon. The fattiness of the bacon makes this burger so juicy, it's unreal. To top it off, I layered cubed bacon on top of the patty, and then fried it in the pan until it back nice & crusty. Here's how I did it...
First, I pressed the ground bacon-beef mixture into a large, round cookie cutter
about half the way up the sides, and then seasoned them with a little salt and pepper. 
Next, I pressed the cubed bacon into the remaining half of the cookie cutter.
Now that you are done layering, gently slide the formed patties out
and onto a piece of parchment paper. 
Here's a cooked burger... how crispy is that bacon on top? Yum. 
Once I cooked the burgers, I layered them onto buttered, toasted buns that were slathered in homemade Thousand Island Mayo. Some other ingredients that are must-haves are slices of heirloom tomato, red onion rings, homemade pickles, fresh iceburg lettuce, slices of your favorite cheese (I like gooey American), and finally some caramelized onions. If you need ketchup, mustard, or mayo you can add that too, but the sauce is delish, so I don't think you will. I served this burger with a side of herbed-garlic fries, which I'll post next. So go on, make these babies for the man in your life... or when you're just super hungry yourself!! Enjoy :)
All-American Bacon-Crusted Burgers with Thousand Island Mayo with Herbed-Garlic Fries 
All the Toppings of the Burger
For the Bacon Patties:
½lb Ground Chuck, 80/20
½lb Ground Applewood Smoked Bacon
4 Slices of Bacon, Finely Chopped (1 slice per burger patty)
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
Small Tabs of Butter
Vegetable Oil, For Grilling

For the Thousand Island Sauce:
2T + 2t Mayo
1T Ketchup
2t Sweet Pickle Relish
½t Sugar & White Vinegar
¼t Paprika & Garlic Powder 
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the “All American” Burgers:
Prepared Double-Double Bacon Patties, Cooked
4 Slices of Cheese (your preference, but I like good ole’ American)
Caramelized Onion Jam
4 Gourmet Hamburger Buns, Buttered & Toasted
Prepared Thousand Island Sauce
Homemade Pickle Chips
Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced & Sprinkled Lightly with Salt and Pepper
Fresh Iceberg Lettuce, Ribs Removed & Torn into Bun-Sized Pieces
Fresh Red Onion Slices
Ketchup, Mustard, & Mayo (if you even need ‘em)

1.  For the Double-Double Bacon Patties: Place the ground beef and ground bacon into a large mixing bowl and mix together until fully combined. Spray a large 4inch round cookie cutter with Pam and place it on top of a piece of parchment paper, press some of the ground meat mix ¾ of the way up the cutter, pressing it in to compact it, season it lightly with salt & pepper, and then top the meat with the finely chopped, two slices of bacon for the remaining ¼ of the cookie cutter. Gently push the compacted ground meat-chopped bacon patty out of the cookie cutter, making sure it stays together, and repeat with the remaining meat (I made 4 patties total for 2 double burgers). Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and melt some butter in it until very hot. Fry the four patties, bacon side down (making sure to season with salt & pepper on the ground meat side that is face side up), and then top with a burger press and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and crusty. Flip the burgers over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes for medium-rare burgers (or longer for medium-well/to your preference). Once the burgers are cooked, remove them to a plate and top each patty with a slice of American cheese and let them rest slightly for 2-3 minutes (making sure the cheese is melted as well). This is when you assemble the rest of your sandwich.
2. For the Thousand Island Sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper to your taste.
3. Assembling the Burgers: Top each slice of buttered & toasted bun with a thick layer of Thousand Island Sauce. On the bottom slice of each bun, top the sauce with 4 slices of pickles, 1 slice of seasoned heirloom tomato, and lettuce. Place one patty on top of the lettuce, spread with caramelized onion jam, and then top with the other patty. Lay some slices of fresh red onion on top of the patty and finish with top slice of the bun. Repeat the make the other burger.
4. Serve immediately with some french fries. 

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