I grew up in Kansas and, like any good meat-loving Midwestern gal, possess an unyielding appreciation for a medium-rare bacon cheeseburger. I have a hard time convincing myself to order red meat at restaurants on the East Coast (it's expensive, and I'm admittedly snobby about my Kansas cows*) so I had to learn how to make the perfect cheeseburger on my own. After many iterations, here it is — simple, greasy, gooey, and absolutely delicious.
*To be fair, I don't even think about touching sushi when I'm back home!
Cook eight pieces of bacon to desired doneness in a large pan. Leave the grease in the pan when you’re done as you’ll use it to cook your burger.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk an egg and and add in the spices, garlic, Worcestershire, and onion. Crumble in the beef and, using your hands, gently mix together. (Handle the meat as little as possible – the more you work it, the tougher it gets.)
Next, shape the meat into 4 equal portions. Loosely form each portion into a 3/4-inch-thick patty and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb (this prevents the burger from puffing up during cooking).
Heat your bacon grease back up over medium heat and drop in the burgers, cooking until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side – about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the burgers and cook until a similar char is achieved on the other side – about 3 minutes for medium rare.
Add 2 slices of cheese and 2 slices of bacon to the tops of the burgers for a final minute of cooking and tent the burgers with the pan's lid or aluminum foil to melt the cheese.
Sandwich the hot burgers between the toasted buns, top with tomato, lettuce, and red onion if desired, and serve immediately.