Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Barbecue Bacon Burger with Bacon Fried Onions and Garlic Feta Mayo

Look at this. I'm not sure what else to say. It is just about the most perfect barbecue burger combination of flavors that has ever existed. I have to thank Kate and Sara from Our Best Bites for the inspiration on this magnificent burger. I saw their Better Homes and Garden's award winning recipe for Barbecue Bacon Sliders in their cookbook Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites and decided to give it a go. I think it was the best burger decision I have ever made. With a few adjustments to suit my preferences and family, I now have an impressive burger in my recipe repertoire. 

(Like, my husband and I discovered sliders don't work for us. They just slide through the grates of our grill which is bad for our stomachs and our marriage. Only big boy burgers at Little Red's house.) 

I know, I know. How can a burger with that long of a name be good? Isn't it going to taste pretentious? No.
Really, it is the tangy garlic feta mayo that makes this burger. The creaminess of the mayo, the slightly pungent tartness of the garlic and red wine vinegar, and the bite of the feta, with just enough of a salty kick, compliments the smokey sweetness of the barbecue sauce to a ridiculous degree. Add cool and perky garden-grown tomato slices, crisp lettuce (which is really only there for color, right?), those crunchy bacon fried onions, and the meatiness that you only get with grilled ground beef...oh, man. I could think of some great comparisons, but they might be PG. -sigh-
My husband and I are a great grilling team. I make the patties and fixings. He grills to perfection while I stay out of the way. Then we both savor. I don't often savor food because I am too excited about eating it. This  burger makes me slow down and think about the flavors buzzing around in my mouth. 
Anyway, we made these burgers again recently for an end-of-summer family night with our great friends. We washed down this burger love with homemade root beer that was pretty darn good, and rounded out the night with that Mississippi Mud Cake that I keep talking about. It also turned into an impromptu birthday celebration for my husband, which was awesome. 

Get your grills ready, friends. Little Red Hen is pulling out the big guns. 

Barbecue Bacon Burger with Bacon Fried Onions and Garlic Feta Mayo

Makes 4-8 burgers, depending on how large you like your patties
Burger Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground beef, 85% lean or higher
  • 2 tbs barbecue sauce, pick your favorite (I love Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Sweet Hawaiian hambuger buns (it is worth the splurge)
  • 8-10 slices crisp bacon
  • Garlic Feta Mayo: 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tbs red wine vinegar, 1/2 tbs minced garlic, 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • Bacon Fried Onions: recipe below 
  • Lettuce, tomato, extra barbecue sauce, if desired
Bacon Fried Onions Ingredients:
  • 1 small to medium onion cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Directions for Burgers:
  1. Make the Garlic Feta Mayo: In a small bowl, mix the mayo, salt, pepper, vinegar, garlic, and feta. Cover and refridgerate until ready to use. (Can be made the day before)
  2. Make the burgers: In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper. Form into patties, making a thumbprint impression in the middle of the patty. This helps prevent patties from shrinking when grilling. Cover and set aside, or refridgerate.
  3. Cook the bacon: Cook according to package instructions. I prefer to cook my bacon in the oven at 400 degrees on a foil-lined cookie sheet until it is crispy. No flipping required! RESERVE ALL BACON GREASE.
  4. Make the Bacon Fried Onions: see directions below
    1. Pour reserved bacon grease into a deep frying pan or shallow pot. You need about 2 inches of grease, so add some vegetable oil if needed. Heat oil to about 350 degrees. 
    2. Whisk egg and milk together in a small bowl. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a separate bowl. 
    3. Working with a handful of onions, dip them into the egg mixture until completely coated. Then dredge them in to flour mixture.
    4. Carefully place slices into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon or tongs and place on a plate covered with folded paper towels to absorb any extra grease. 
    5. Repeat process until all onions are fried.
  5. Grill your burgers: cook according to your preference
  6. Serve it up! Bottom bun (toasted, if desired), with garlic feta mayo, bacon slices, burger, barbecue sauce, tomato, onions, lettuce (maybe), top bun with more garlic feta mayo.
Devour. Repeat as desired.

Bake the bread. Share the slices.

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