There are those who will tell you that a great burger starts with a great bun. Personally, I believe a great burger starts with great beef, lots of cheese and fresh toppings, all crammed into a great bun. So, I guess my take is that a great burger is only complete with a great bun!
Sandy has been craving burgers over the past few days, so last night I created the most incredible burgers stuffed with Monterey Jack and bacon. Coupled with some fresh buns from a local bakery, these bad boys hit the spot!
4 lbs of good quality lean ground beef
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
1 cup of wine. You could use red or white, in this case I used some left over white.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Salt (Or something like Hy’s. I bought Chef Paul’s stuff when I met him recently and I love it)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup (after cooking) bacon. Use ground bacon bits from your butcher or chop up bacon strips.
There is a little bit more to these burgers than just tossing in some spices and forming patties, but the extra effort is well worth it!
In a heated pan, cook bacon just until it begins to crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon bits from the pan and set in a paper towel lined dish to cool.
While bacon is cooling, use the same pan to saute onions gently until they begin to take on a deep, golden colour. At this point, add in the wine and continue to heat until wine is reduced to a syrup. Set aside to cool.
Put beef into a very large bowl and break it up a bit. Sprinkle bread crumbs, Worcester, seasoning, eggs and cooled onion mixture evenly over it. Get in there with your hands and gently mix it up until additions are incorporated evenly into the beef, but not so much that the beef loses its texture. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more to allow flavours to mingle.
Combine cheese and cooled bacon bits in a bowl.
Break off as many baseball sized lumps of meat mixture as you need for meal and form into balls. Wrap the bowl up again and return it to the fridge.
Put a ball into one hand and pat it down into a cup shape with the other hand. Place a small amount of cheese & bacon in the well you’ve created. Try to resist the urge to jam it overfull of cheese, or your cheese will all leak out onto the grill. I use a little more than a tablespoon. Close in the top of the “meat cup” and then gently press it down into a patty shape, taking car not to break open the outer layer of meat.
Preheat your grille to medium.
Place burgers on grill and close the lid for about 4 minutes. Don’t stray too far from the BBQ, as any flare-ups will not only burn the burgers, but the excessive heat will cause the cheese to volcano out of the burgers. Flip gently, once to cook the other side through. If you so desire, flip the burgers a second time to melt cheese on top. Turn the heat down and close the lid while cheese melts and transfer to buns.
Once you add on your favourite toppings, you are good to go. I chose a spicy red hot dog relish I recently found, a bit of Polish mustard, some onions and pickles. Regardless of what toppings you choose, your guests will LOVE these cheesy burgers!
You may be wondering what I do with that ball of meat in the fridge. I always make extra for a couple of reasons. First off, if you have teenagers like we do, you often end up with extra mouths to feed. If you have extra meat, you are instantly ready for them. Next up, when all is done, I will form any remaining meat into patties. Stack them with parchment in between and put in heavy ziploc bags in the freezer. That way, you always have awesome burgers on hand so you don’t end up resorting to store bought frozen burgers.
You might want to also try our Tangy Summer Slaw as a side dish!