Farmer’s Favorite Burgers

Hamburgers are a necessity of life around here. We eat burgers at least once a week. Its a quick, easy meal that I know will please everyone. Sometimes we like to dress our burgers up, though. While we’ve tried a lot of variations over the years, this recipe has become my farmer man’s favorite. These burgers are always sure to get amazing compliments from him. In between bites and mmmnnn sounds. The burger magic goes something like this:

Begin with a pack of thick bacon and a couple pounds of ground beef. This bacon is from a hog that we had processed recently. Let me know if you want more details on that. It’s the absolute best bacon we’ve ever eaten. And we’ve eaten a lot of bacon. It has it’s own food group, right?

Go ahead and stretch out all of that gorgeous bacon on an oven proof rack, which is placed on top of a half sheet pan. This is how I like to cook my bacon. Always. No babysitting required.

Slide that pan in your oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees. Just keep an eye on it. It may not require babysitting, but you don’t want to char that lovely stuff up. I’ve been known to do that. Not a pretty thing.

Next, unpackage your ground beef. This is our homegrown ground beef. It’s pretty lean, which is how we prefer it. It really is great stuff.

Form hamburger patties. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to make sure your meat isn’t too cold or too warm. Meat that is too warm doesn’t stick together well. Meat that is still semi-frozen is just plain hard to work with. Don’t over manipulate it, either. Just gently form it. This time I got 8 burgers out of 2 lbs of meat, which means we’re having quarter pounders tonight! I often make 1/3 lb burgers. Growing boys and all.

Now, before you head to the grill with your beautiful hamburger patties, whip out a couple of onions. We are going to caramelize those babies. Vidalia onions are preferable, if they are in season. The onions are one of the secret ingredients in this recipe. It’s just not the same without them.

Peel and halve the onions. Then slice them up, pretty thin, like so. I don’t enjoy peeling and chopping onions at all, but I will take on that chore all day long to get the flavor that they are going to give.

Toss them in a skillet with a half stick of butter. Turn the heat on to medium low and just let them cook. Caramelizing onions takes some patience, but it is worth it.

Put the burgers on a hot grill. Cover and flip them in a few minutes. Cook until they are your desired level of done.

Remember that bacon we slid in the oven? Right about now you’re going to want to flip the strips of bacon. This is the only time you have to do anything to help the bacon cook. It just really takes care of itself. One of the 8 million things I love about bacon.

Meanwhile, the onions are continuing to cook down. They will have a little color on them by now, but don’t stop yet!

Those juicy burgers will be getting close to being done by now. Breathe in the combined scents of beef, bacon, and sweet onions. Ahhhh…..

That self sufficient bacon is done now. Oh, its pretty. And smells amazing.

The onions are now officially done. See how much they have cooked down? That is concentrated, sweet flavor right there.

Now for the best part. Well, the next to best part. The best part has to be the eating part. Stack up some bacon on top of your burger.

Top with a generous helping of caramelized onions.

Then top with a slice of cheddar cheese. Don’t use that cheese-in-a-wrapper stuff. Just don’t. Pepper jack cheese is also a welcome alternative here. Next, slide your plate into the warm oven. Remember cooking the bacon? The oven is still warm from that. Take advantage of it and melt that cheese and warm that bun!

Isn’t that better? Yeah, I thought so.

The last secret to my farmer’s favorite burger: bbq sauce. We like a sweet and spicy sauce. Bacon, cheddar, caramelized onion and bbq sauce. They go together so well. Just amazing. Serve it up and let the oohs and ahhs begin. Enjoy!

Farmer’s Favorite Burger

Ingredients:

2lbs ground beef

2 medium Vidalia onions

half stick of butter

1 lb bacon

cheddar cheese slices

buns

Cook bacon on a cooking rack in a preheated 400 degree oven. Slice onions thinly and place in a skillet with the butter. Cook on medium low until the onions are browned, about 20-30 minutes. Form and grill hamburger patties. Assemble burgers: beef, bacon, onions, cheddar. Melt cheddar in your warm oven. Top with sweet and spicy bbq sauce.

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