The wonderful month of May means many, many things. It means endless stressful days of planting in the garden, the first sunburns of the year, a pile of empty beer cans in the trash (and sink. Because for whatever reason grown ass boys will put the cans in the sink but can’t seem to go over 1.5 ft to put them in the trash can. It’s must be some debilitating disease that boys have called “laziness.”). May is also the beginning of grilling season! This is when our meal rotation for the week goes like this: brats, burgers, pork steaks (for fancy guests), leftovers and repeat. I was tired of making the same ol’ burger so I thought I would take the standard burger to the next level. THEN take it to the next level after that! Yes, my friends, it’s the Next-Next Level Burger. A bacon juicy lucy topped with homemade tomato jam, a bacon-onion-balsamic jam and homemade pickled peppers to top it off with. Commence the drooling.
We’ll start off by making the bacon onion balsamic jam. This can be made up to two days in advance and kept in the fridge. Or you can make it the day of. Anyway, you will need the following:
- A couple strips (4-8) of applewood smoked bacon, cut in morsel sized pieces (1″)
- one large red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- A dap of dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Take your morsel, bite sized bacon pieces and cook them up until they’re lightly browned. You don’t want them crispy, just browned. Once they’re browned, take them out of the pan and let them drain on a paper towel. Discard most of the grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan.
Throw in the sliced red onions, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid and occasionally stir until the onions are soft (about 10 minutes). Once they’re tender and flavorful, stir in the balsamic vinegar, water, mustard and the bacon you set aside, then taste tested for quality control. Stir well and leave uncovered until most of the liquid is evaporated and absorbed. Then once you have an ideal consistency, put the bacon onion balsamic jam in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest until you’re ready to use it or keep it in the fridge.
Now it’s time for the burgers! Grab your ground beef and toss it in a bowl. Add a couple splashes of worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Now this is where things get interesting. Mince a few slices of bacon and throw that into the mix too. Yeah, dudes, more bacon. Mix your little bowl of heaven well, until it’s all incorporated.
Form small patties, because you’re going to take two patties and make one burger. So don’t get too excited with the size, here. Take one of your small patties, make an indent in the center then grab a cheese of your choice. We used your classic cheddar cheese but you can get fancy if you want to. Put the cheese in the center of the bottom patty. Then take a second patty and place it on top, making sure to pinch the sides closed so the cheese doesn’t ooze out and make a mess of things.
Grill up those suckers until the cheese is melty in the center and the burger is thoroughly cooked. Once they’re done, we suggest topping it with homemade tomato jam, the bacon onion balsamic jam and then pickled peppers on top. The sweet and savory combination of the toppings with the melty, meaty, cheesy, bacony burger is enough to put you in a food coma for the rest of the day… and then some. Is it possible to create your own addiction? Because I think that’s what just happened.