Burger with Candied Onions, Bacon, and Cheddar

Burger with Candied Onions, Bacon, and Cheddar
Staff Writer

Richard Blais

From Richard Blais' cookbook Try This at Home, this burger recipe exemplifies his creative thought process in the kitchen. Onions are candied in sherry vinegar for a truly unique take on caramelized onions, and bacon and Cheddar are the cherry on top of this burger sundae. 

Ingredients

For the candied onions

  • 2  Tablespoons  butter
  • cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4  Cup  sherry vinegar
  • sprigs thyme, leaves removed
  • 1  Tablespoon  sugar
  • 1  Teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  Tablespoon  kosher salt
  • yellow onions, halved through the root ends and thinly sliced

For the burger

  • 2  Pounds  ground beef, preferably with a 75 percent/25 percent meat-to-fat ratio
  • 1/4  Cup  barbecue seasoning
  • 2  Tablespoons  kosher salt
  • 2  Teaspoons  ground black pepper
  • 5  Teaspoons  vegetable oil
  • 2  Tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • cloves garlic, smashed
  • sprigs fresh thyme
  • thick slices Cheddar cheese
  • English muffins, split and toasted
  • beefsteak or heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
  • One  6-ounce piece bacon, cooked
  • 1/2-3/4  Cup  candied onions

Directions

For the candied onions

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the onions, garlic, and thyme leaves and stir. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are deep golden brown, about 45-60 minutes.

Add the sugar, salt, and pepper and stir. Replace the lid and cook for 10 minutes more.

Add the vinegar and scrape up any browned pits in the pan, mixing it into the onions. Cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a container and let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 

For the burger

Form the meat into 4 patties, about ¾-inch thick, and, with the handle of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in the middle of each patty. Season the patties on both sides, using 1 ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper for each one.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking. Place the beef patties in the pan, immediately reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook for 4 minutes; do not press on the burgers so they retain their juices. With a spatula, flip the patties and add the butter, garlic cloves, and thyme to the pan. Once the butter has melted, tip the pan and baste each burger a few times, spooning the hot butter over it. Continue to cook, basting often, until the burgers are well browned on the bottom and the meat is medium-rare, 5-6 minutes. Remove the burgers from the hot pan, top each with a slice of Cheddar, and let rest for 5 minutes.

To build the burgers, put 2 slices of tomato on each muffin bottom, followed by a burger. Top each with 2-3 tablespoons candied onions, some bacon, and the top bun. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
50g
71%
Sugar
1g
1%
Saturated Fat
18g
75%
Cholesterol
219mg
73%
Carbohydrate, by difference
11g
8%
Protein
62g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
62µg
9%
Vitamin B-12
6µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
11mg
15%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
62µg
69%
Calcium, Ca
77mg
8%
Choline, total
187mg
44%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Folate, total
29µg
7%
Iron, Fe
7mg
39%
Magnesium, Mg
67mg
21%
Niacin
11mg
79%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
470mg
67%
Selenium, Se
49µg
89%
Sodium, Na
331mg
22%
Water
188g
7%
Zinc, Zn
15mg
100%

Burger Shopping Tip

Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.

Burger Cooking Tip

The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.