This shining example of burger perfection has all the best qualities of an old school steak house meal. Bacon and blue cheese a la wedge salad? Check. Marbled beef seasoned and cooked to perfection? Check. Just enough vegetables to make you feel slightly healthy? Check. Shake up a dirty martini, grab a napkin and go to town.
Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Large Mixing Bowl, Small Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon
Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating
Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Montepuciano D’Abruzzo
Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ales and Porters are our preference for this one, but you have to really try to make a bad beer pairing with a burger.
- 1 lb. ground beef (we recommend an 80/20 mix) ($3.99/lb)
- 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
- 1 medium shallot ($2.99/lb)
- 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
- 1 lb. crimini or bably bella mushrooms ($2.99/lb)
- 8 strips thick cut applewood smoked bacon ($7.99/lb)
- 8 oz blue cheese (we used an Italian blue, verde capra)($8.99/lb)
- 2 TBSP Montreal steak seasoning ($about $3.99/3 oz jar)
- 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
- 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz)
- 2 TBSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
- 4 hamburger buns ($3.19/8 pack)
- Peel and mince the garlic; peel and quarter your onion, then cut into thin slices. Brush off the crimini mushrooms with a wet paper towel to remove any excess dirt. Slice those puppies into thin strips too and mix in with the onions and garlic.
- Place your frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Throw in your veggies, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and stir thoroughly to coat with the oil. Cook everything down for about 5 minutes then drizzle the balsamic vinegar and honey over the whole lot and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally (about 10 more minutes). Place in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add the beef, grate in the shallot, add the steak seasoning, a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and mix it together with your hands. Do it until the spices and shallot are well incorporated but don’t overwork the meat, it’ll get gummy and will give your burger a weird texture.
- Take the beef and divide into quarters. Form the patties in the palms of your hands; use your thumb to put a divot in the center so your burger doesn’t bulge when it’s cooked. Set the patties aside on a plate.
- Place your veggie frying pan back over medium heat and add your bacon. Don’t overcrowd it, cook the bacon in batches until crisp and set it aside on paper towels to drain. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Keep your frying pan over medium heat. If the bottom isn’t evenly coated in bacon fat add a little olive oil and plunk down your hamburger patties. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side for medium; whatever your doneness preference, only flip the burgers once. When cooked to your liking remove from heat and let the patties sit for a couple minutes. Take this chance to toast the buns a bit in the frying pan to soak up all the remaining burgerness.
- Pop the beef on top of the bun and add a thick layer of blue cheese. We like using an Italian blue, verde capra, for this one because it gets creamy and almost sauce-like when it melts. You can find it in most specialty grocery stores or cheese shops but regular blue cheese will work just as well.
- Pile on a good amount of mushrooms and onions and top it with a couple of strips of bacon, broken in half to fit easier. If you’ve made it this long without stuffing your face, put the top bun on so the burger’s easier to hold and dig in.