Remember how Becki asked me to write a guest blog post, and I came up with a great idea, but then I got sidetracked and made those cookies instead? This burger was my original great idea, but I'm glad for the sidetrack because those cookies needed to be in existence for my life to be fully complete. When I asked a friend what recipe I should make for the blog, Bacon Jam was suggested, which seemed like an excellent idea, but then snowballed into burgers.... with bacon jam on top... and cheese.... pickled veggie slaw.... and a duck egg on top to give it some foodie cred. Yeaaaahh. Needless to say, these burgers took a few days to make.
So let's start with the bacon jam. Bacon jam sounds weird, but is so so good. You can dip almost anything in it, but I am partial to Bugles with bacon jam, peanut butter and Sriracha. For real. Start by chopping up around 2 pounds of bacon. This doesn't have to be fancy bacon, I used pieces and ends. Throw it in a large heavy pot and cook over medium until it's cooked, but not brown and crispy. So, medium well. Remove the bacon and set it aside, drain most of that lovely bacon fat. (Side note: the fat from 2 pounds of bacon almost replaced all the fat I used making those cookies). Leave around a tablespoon or so of bacon fat in the pan, and add 2 medium onions, roughly chopped. This recipe was perfect for my knife skills. Stir your onions over medium heat until they are translucent. Don't let them burn! There is nothing worse than burned onions.... except burned garlic. That's what is going in next, 3 cloves of garlic- peeled, smashed, and minced. Or if you're lazy like I am, frozen garlic. I love this stuff.
Once your onions and garlic are all soft and cooked down, pour in 1 cup of coffee, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup cider vinegar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Now turn your stove down on low, you are going to simmer this for a looooooong time. Like 3 or 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Oh, looking at the picture, I guess I also took the seeds out of a jalapeno and let it simmer with the rest of the ingredients.
This would be the point where you could throw it in a crock pot and let it cook, but why mess up another dish, right?
When your bacon jam is ... jam-like, time to put it in the blender and whir it up a little (take the pepper out if you want). I pulsed mine until it was mostly smooth, but still had a little texture. We aren't making bacon baby food here! Cool and enjoy!
I am a cookbook collector. I have many old ones from one church or another, but the holy grail of cookbooks has always been the Karlstad cookbook from the 1980's. I was fortunate to inherit my Grandma Edna's. Even more fortunate that it has many of her handwritten recipes in it. Almost like cooking with Grandma again. When I wast thinking of toppings for this epic foodie burger veggie slaw came to mind. I knew I wanted something that was similar to a bread and butter refrigerator pickle, but with a little kick. I found a recipe from my old neighbor, Avis with annotations by Grandma, and I adapted it.
I peeled and cut 1 English cucumber into matchstick like pieces, added a few handfuls of shredded carrots (no, I did not shred my own - the horror), a thinly sliced red pepper, 1/2 of a sweet onion-thinly sliced, and 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin like paper.
While I chopped, I brought 1 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar to a boil. Once the sugars were dissolved, I cooled slightly, added around a teaspoon of mustard seeds, and poured over the veggies.
The next day, they were delicious!
Assembling the burgers.....Becki was kind enough to invite us over to grill burgers. If you are not aware, she is an amazing hostess! I finally got to sample her liver pate - it was delicious! Becki sprinkled our burger patties with Sichuan Sea Salt, then threw them on the grill. She was very proud of her perfect perpendicular grill marks.
After the burgers were cooked we topped them with shredded Gruyere cheese, tented with foil, and let them rest. Just a note about the cheese.... we didn't love it. It really got lost. Options would include a sharp or smoked cheddar, or just skipping the cheese altogether. While the burgers rested, Becki fried up some duck eggs for the final topping. Just a note about the duck eggs.... despite the assurance that they were covered in mud, we all remain convinced that they were covered in duck poo.
pic game of Yahtzee!
Printable Recipe Here
Bacon Jam Burgers Topped with Duck Egg & Vinegar Slaw
1 pound ground beef
Sichuan sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 heaping tablespoons bacon jam, recipe below
Butter, for frying eggs
4 duck eggs
4 heaping tablespoons vinegar slaw, recipe below
4 soft hamburger buns
Preheat grill over high heat.
Form patties into 1/4 pound burgers, season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium and place burgers on hot grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from heat, set aside and tent with tinfoil. Once the burgers have 5 minutes to rest, slather them with the bacon jam.
Heat a skillet over moderate heat. Melt in butter, crack duck eggs into hot butter and let them settle in. After about a minute, slice into the yolk with a spatula, cook 1 or 2 more minutes. Flip and cook another minute. Remove from heat and place a top the burgers. Top with vinegar slaw and wedge between the hamburger buns. Dig in.
2 pounds bacon (pieces and ends work great here)
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 cup freshly brewed coffee
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Place chopped bacon in a heavy bottom kettle and cook over medium heat until cooked, but not brown and crispy. Remove bacon, set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the kettle Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chopped garlic and jalapeno, stir for a minute. Pour in coffee, vinegars and sugar. Turn heat to low and simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Alternately, move to a crock pot and set to low. Stir occasionally. When the jam reaches jam consistency remove from heat and cool slightly. Move to a blender or food processor and pulse until mostly smooth, but leave a little texture. Chill well.
1 English cucumber
1 red pepper
1/2 sweet onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Peel and slice the cucumber, carrot, red pepper, onion, and jalapeno into thin matchstick-like shapes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring vinegars and sugars to a boil. Boil gently until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly, and add mustard seeds. Pour mixture over veggies and cool.