Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Building a Better Burger

Tex here, and, you know, my husband and I watch a lot of Food Network. Chopped and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives are two of our favorites. In DDD, Guy Fieri travels the country, introducing viewers to, well, diners, drive-ins and dives and the fare that they offer. Not an episode goes by that I'm not drooling over something or thinking, "I should make that."

So when we decided to do hamburgers this past weekend, I wasn't content with just the same ol', same ol'. No. I wanted to shake it up a bit.

Then I remembered my friend who processes her own deer meat and how she mixed ground uncured bacon (at least that's what she called it, but I think it was probably just pork belly, which is where bacon starts) with venison. Now that was some good eatin'. 

Well, I had bacon and I had lean ground beef. Why not give it a go.

So I pulled out the grinder attachment for my mixer and ground up a 12 oz package of bacon. Actually, I thought I had a pound, which I was going to add to three pounds of ground beef. Since I didn't, though, I cut the ground beef back to about 2 1/2 pounds. Basically, I wanted a 3 to 1 ratio.

Then I added the ground bacon to the ground beef (93/7),
And mixed it all together with my hands. Yes, they were clean. 
Then I balled the meat into 6-8 oz portions.
Once my skillet was nice and hot, I'd throw on a ball or two, immediately flattening them with a metal spatula, sprinkle just a tiny bit of Montreal Steak Seasoning (don't need salt since its in the bacon) and let them cook 3-4 minutes before flipping them.
Then I toasted some sesame seed buns for those who wouldn't know a carb if it hit them in the face.
Me, I simply topped mine with thin-sliced Monterrey Jack cheese, onion, mayo, mustard, ketchup and, finally, a bit of lettuce.
The result?

Oh. My. Word. 
This could possibly be one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. The amount of bacon was just right. Its flavor didn't take over, simply married with the ground beef , creating a flavor profile that should not be missed.

Will I be doing this again?
You betcha. I can hardly wait until next time. And I can't wait to do it with venison. Sorry, Kav. ;)

What are some your favorite experiments in the kitchen?


  1. I cannot believe I've never thought of this! What is my problem??? Tex, this is awesome. What a clever, marvelous, Ruthy-can't-wait-to-impress people with it idea????? Thank you! I'm happy dancing in upstate!

    1. If it hadn't been for my friend, Cheryl, I probably wouldn't have ought of it either, Ruthy. Then again, her husband is a cattle rancher and she works with meat all the time. Cows, hogs, deer... She's even making her own sausage now. Oh, the things I could learn from this woman.

      Can't wait to hear what you think, Ruthy.

  2. Ok, this looks really good because although I love bacon, having it on a burger always seems really awkward. It's like it can't decide whether it's a BLT or a burger. But if the bacon is IN the burger meat? I could totally be happy with that.
    And WHY do I come here at 3AM?? Must make a note to never visit YBC in the wee hours. now I'm hungry!

    1. Virginia, the bigger question here is why are you up at 3AM? Of course, that's about the time Ruthy gets up.

      I know what you mean about bacon ON a burger. I love bacon and burgers, but not together. I don't know why. But the two mixed together? Now that's a match made in heaven.

  3. This is serious yum. I'm going to make for Lawboy is a bacon fan to the max. This will really wow him. I love bacon on burgers but the flavors compete I think. One bite could have nothing but burger, another nothing but bacon. This is perfect.

    1. Julie, that's kind of how I feel about bacon ON a burger. Just not crazy about it. Hope Lawboy enjoys it!

  4. Sounds yummy! I don't have a grinder on my mixer so will just chop the bacon.

    1. I wonder if you could run the bacon through a food processor, Missy. Pulsing, of course. Don't want to make baby food out of it. :)

  5. My family of carnivores will love this! I can already taste that bacon goodness mixing in with the ground beef.

    And of course, we all know bacon makes everything better!

    I'll have mine low-carb style, too. I love them that way :)

    1. I bet they will, Jan. Bacon is such a great enhancer. Pretty darn good by itself, too. The only time I've ever really not liked it, except for burned, is the time I had chocolate covered bacon. Love me some chocolate, love me some bacon. Just not together. I guess perfect plus perfect doesn't necessarily equal perfect.

  6. LOL -- well, this recipe isn't for me, but dare I confess that this vegetarian loves the smell of burgers on the barbeque? Shhh, don't tell anyone.

    I've been trying to perfect a good veggie burger recipe for years but the catch always seems to be getting the thing to stick together. My fav store bought burger is Sol burger. And there used to be this to die for pecan burger with a sauce that would curl your toes at a restaurant downtown but they changed ownership and ditched the recipe. So sad. Sigh, I want the snow to melt so I can go to a barbeque. LOL

    1. Kav, the entire time I was writing this post, I was thinking, "Kav is not going to like this." :P

      But alas, she loves the aroma. Perhaps there's hope for her yet.

      I've tried a veggie burger or two, but was not impressed. Then again, I'm a meat eater. If I weren't, then I might be on a quest for the best veggie burger, too.

      Yeah, it always stinks when we have a fave at a restaurant and then, poof, it's gone. Heaven forbid they take the customers' preferences into consideration. Sigh.

      Hang in there, my Irish-Canadian friend. Spring is on its way. It's just taking the scenic route. And before you know it, you'll be playing in the garden, growing all kinds of beautiful and tasty things.