One of my favorite meals in the world is a really good burger (just see my profile!), and after having eaten a lot of burgers, I’ve come to feel that the thing that makes a burger truly amazing is starting with amazing ingredients. Really good quality meat, bun, and toppings. I’m lucky enough to be able to get my ground beef directly from a farmer I know. Then all you have to do is not overcook anything! Of all the delicious burgers I’ve eaten in my decades of burger love, here’s my favorite way of cooking and dressing them. It’s a classic and dependably delicious combination. - fiveandspice —fiveandspice
Test Kitchen Notes
Fiveandspice's burger is a wonderful, uncomplicated juicy, fatty bacon cheeseburger -- both simple and classic. The caramelized onions, bacon, tomato and cheese top off a juicy, lovingly cooked burger. - Stephanie
really good quality ground beef from pasture-raised cattle – don’t go any leaner than 90%, try for 85% (if you’re up for it, you could grind your own from beef chuck, either way, I still suggest looking for pasture raised meat if you can)
salt and pepper
slices of extra sharp cheddar (I like Cabot’s)
thick slices of a good tomato (I like Brandywine, in season)
strips of applewood smoked bacon, each cut in half
yellow onions, thinly sliced
fresh challah or brioche rolls (the key is to use rolls made from an egg-dough), cut in half and spread lightly with butter
In a large frying pan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are brown and completely caramelized, 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
In another frying pan, fry the bacon until crisp on both sides. Move to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain.
In the meantime, heat your grill to a pretty high heat. Gently form the meat into 6 equal sized balls then lightly press the balls into patties. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top sides generously with salt and pepper.
Put the patties on the grill, seasoned side down, then generously season the other sides with salt and pepper. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes, then flip them. Cook the other side for another 3 or so minutes. Do not cook them past medium-rare! They should still be good and pink inside when you cut into one to check (I always cut into one because I would rather have one slightly maimed burger than a set of overcooked ones, and it can be awfully hard to tell otherwise).
In the last 1-2 minutes of grilling, lay a slice of cheese on top of each patty to melt. In the last minute of grilling, put the buns, cut sides down on the grill and allow to cook until golden. Remove the cooked patties to a tray and the buns to another.
Assemble the burgers, putting one patty with melted cheese on each bun bottom, cheese side down. Top with a generous scoop of caramelized onions, two pieces of the bacon, and one slice of tomato. Add ketchup and mustard as desired, and top with the bun tops.
Enjoy! And, make sure to have lots of napkins and some good microbrew beer around.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.