In finding a drink pairing for something like the Ultimate Sriracha Burger, you've got a lot going on. Smoky notes from the bacon, the oh-so-lovely Sriracha kick, sweet caramelized onions, and the unmistakably delicious funk of blue cheese... you're up against a flavor monster. No wine could even begin to handle this. Beer, however, can gladly step up to the plate.
This burger practically begs for a Black IPA, a style of beer that's massively hoppy (which will accentuate Sriracha's heat) but also utilizes dark roasted malts (which will play off of the onions, bacon, and blue cheese). And if I may go a step further, I'd go so far as to recommend one in particular: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I work for Stone Brewing Co., but that's not why I'm recommending it. I'm recommending it because it's the best Black IPA out on the market. Hands down. And it tastes incredible with this burger!)
Adapted from "The Sriracha Cookbook" by Randy Clemens.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soy sauce, 5 tablespoons of the Sriracha, and the pepper. Do not overmix. Form the mixture into 8 patties, and set aside, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered, in the refrigerator.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat.
In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, turning as necessary. While the bacon is cooking, peel and quarter the onions. Cut each section into ¼-inch slices. Once the bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy, remove the slices from the pan, cut each in half crosswise, and drain onto paper towels, reserving the remaining bacon fat in the pan. Cook the sliced onions in the bacon fat over medium-low heat until they caramelize, 20-25 minutes.
Grill the burgers, turning once, 4-4½ minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer registers 130-135 degrees for medium-rare.
While the burgers are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing with the remaining 5 tablespoons Sriracha. Lightly toast the buns on the grill during the last minute of cooking time.
To assemble, spread the blue cheese mixture on both halves of each hamburger bun. Stack a burger patty, Swiss cheese slice, bacon, caramelized onions, tomato slice, and a small handful of arugula between each hamburger bun.
Reprinted with permission from The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 “Rooster Sauce” Recipes That Pack a Punch by Randy Clemens, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.