I debated about whether I should share a sweet or a savory recipe with you today.  And it wasn’t an easy decision.  Cookies, bars, or burgers?  But I felt really strongly about you guys needing these burgers in your lives.  Like, pull-that-bacon-and-ground-beef-out-of-the-freezer-before-you-go-to-work strongly.  You’ll regret not putting them on your tables tonight.

OK, maybe if you’re having pizza tonight you won’t regret not having these burgers but for the love of all things good, don’t let the weekend go by without them.  The burgers infused with bits of finely diced bacon and then they’re topped with this other-worldly concoction of slow cooked red onions mixed with [yes more] bacon and balsamic vinegar that thickens into a jammy sauce.  A nice liberal slice of sharp cheddar finishes everything off and by the end of dinner, you’ll wish you had the chance to rewind and start it all over again.  Damn that lack of time travel thing.

We served some baked oven fries alongside these babies but frankly, any typical burger side will work here too, as would a heaping mound of grilled veggies or fresh fruit (you know, for the guilt-factor).  We’ve found our new favorite burger and you can assume that if you’re coming to our house for dinner any time this summer, these are what we’ll be making for you!

Bacon Burgers with Bacon Onion Balsamic Jam

Yield: 4 servings


    For the Bacon Onion Balsamic Jam:
  • 4 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, sliced into ½-inch wide pieces
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup water
  • For the Burgers:
  • 2 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, finely diced
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef (85% or 90% lean)
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • Sliced sharp cheddar cheese, optional


  1. To make the jam: Heat a large saute pan (that has a cover) over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until browned but not crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and let it drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off all but 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon grease and then stir in the onions, about 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cover the pan to cook the onions for 2 minutes. Uncover the pan and in a splash of water, scraping the bits off of the bottom of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon. Recover the pan and cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned.
  2. After the onions have cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the balsamic vinegar, mustard, and water then return the bacon to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens and is almost completely absorbed, about 2-4 minutes (mine definitely took upwards of 4 minutes). At this point, the jam can be covered and refrigerated (you can make it up to 2 days in advance). If using immediately, set it aside in a bowl until ready to use.
  3. To make the burgers: Using a fork, lightly mix the finely diced bacon with the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and ground pepper in a medium bowl until the ingredients form a uniform mixture. Shape the burger mixture into four equal-sized patties, about 1-inch thick. Cook the burgers on a grill pre-heated to medium-high, about 4-5 minutes per side. Once you flip the burgers, add the cheese (if the cheese is thinly sliced, give it a minute or two on the second side before adding it). Once cooked to desired doneness, remove the burgers from the grill and set them aside to rest for 5 minutes before adding the topping, placing on the buns, and serving. No ketchup required.


source: adapted from Fine Cooking, July 2011, via Annie’s Eats and Cook Like a Champion