Have you ever had one of those days where you just absolutely CRAVE a burger? And not just any burger I might add, oh no. You want a rich, juicy, cheddar-y, bacon covered, sauce slathered, slightly salty and a little sweet burger. And you don’t want just any old hamburger bun either. You want a crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, slightly buttery bun.
Then you remember you don’t eat packaged ground meat which basically removes any hope of finding said burger at a restaurant or trying to make one with store bought ground beef. With that realization all your burger filled hopes and dreams deflate like a week old balloon. Yep, that was me earlier this week.
Luckily for me, when my husband bought my Kitchen Aid he also bought me the grinder attachment set. So my balloon inflated a little bit after remembering this. The best part is it is so easy to grind your own meat, even without a Kitchen Aid. You can get a small grinder suitable for on-demand use for around $20-$30 on Amazon. All that’s left after that is choosing the meat and getting everything else ready!
Today I am making Bacon Bleu Cheese Burgers on pretzel buns. The pretzel buns take about two hours, so it’s a good idea to make them prior to the burgers. There are a lot of components to this burger, but they are all so good you really don’t want to skip them.
We are making:
Bleu cheese stuffed burger patties,
Sweet whisky glaze,
Crispy Onions, and
First thing first, get your buns started. For a dozen rolls (between regular size and slider size) you will need:
4 ½ cups bread flour
1 ½ cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (not instant rise)
2 tsp Kosher salt
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Pretzel salt for sprinkling (I used Sea Salt)
Combine the sugar and warm water. Once the sugar is dissolved add the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Add the flour, salt and melted butter to the yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook on medium speed until well combined. If you are doing this by hand, continue kneading until the dough is a solid, slightly sticky ball. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
Cut the dough into 12 pieces and form each piece into a ball, pinching the bottom to seal. Place the rolls on a parchment lined pan, cover with a clean towel and let rise again for 30 minutes or until they double in size again.
While you are waiting for the rolls to rise, set a pot of water to boil with about two quarts of water. Preheat your oven to 425. Right before the rolls are finished rising, SLOWLY add ¼ c. baking soda to the boiling water. Add 2-3 rolls to the boiling water seam side down. After 30 seconds, turn them over so the other half is submerged for another 30 seconds.
Remove, drain and add them back to the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this process until all the rolls have been poached.
Brush the beaten egg on the tops and sides of the poached rolls before cutting an “X” in the top of each roll. Sprinkle each roll with pretzel salt or sea salt to taste.
Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes keep a close eye on them. It’s a fine line between deliciously golden brown and burnt.
Now on to the main attraction! The burger!
For the burgers you will need:
1 ½ lbs your choice of beef (including fat)
4 oz bleu cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices good quality Cheddar cheese
8 slices of thick cut bacon
For the Crispy Onions:
2 large onions
¼ cup milk
½ cup flour
Oil for frying
For the Whisky Glaze:
¼ cup whiskey (I used Jack D Honey Whiskey, but feel free to use whatever you like)
¼ cup ketchup
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
¼ tsp black pepper
For my burgers I used trimmed brisket. I love brisket in general but I especially love it for burgers. There is enough fat on a trimmed brisket to give you between a 90/10 mix and 80/20 mix. Just look to see how much fat was left on the brisket. You can use whatever cut of meat you want, just make sure you have plenty of fat. The general guideline for burgers is 80/20 ratio of meat to fat. So for every pound of ground burger, about 3oz should be high quality fat. My burgers generally fall between 90/10 and 80/20. Cut your fat and meat into 1” to 2” chunks and grind using the fine grinding plate.
Grind the meat, watching for any stray bits of gristle or black grease. Basically if you see anything you don’t want to eat, take it out. Better yet, cut it out of the meat before you even grind it. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready for use.
Slice your onions very thinly. If you have the vegetable slicer attachment for the Kitchen Aid, the thin slicer works great for this. Separate the rings slightly and add to a bowl. Heat about an inch of oil in a medium saucepan for frying the onion strips. While the oil is heating, pour the milk over the onions and stir to coat. Add flour and mix again to make a sticky coating over the onions.
Add the onions to the hot oil in small batches and cook until brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain until ready for use.
In a small sauce pot, add all the ingredients for the whiskey glaze. Boil until the alcohol burns off and the sauce thickens slightly. Keep warm until ready for use.
Cook up the bacon, draining the fat as needed to keep the bacon from popping as much.
Measure out the beef in 3oz portions and patty each portion out. Add 1oz bleu cheese to half of the hamburger patties and top with the remaining patties. Seal well and even out the patty.
Fry or grill the burger to desired doneness. If you chose to fry your burger, try frying it in the same pan as the bacon to get a little more bacon flavor to your patty.
To assemble, slice the pretzel bun and spread a spoon full of sauce on the bottom. Place the stuffed patty on the bun and top with cheddar, bacon, crispy onions, more sauce and the top of the pretzel bun.
And there you have it folks! A Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger in all its sauce-y, cheddar-y glory.
Excuse me while I go have another one 🙂
Here is the printable. Tell me what you think in the comments!