Burgers with Bacon

Burgers with Bacon

Burgers with Bacon

I love this recipe that combines traditional ingredients: beef and bacon, but puts them inside the burgers.  They keep incredibly moist even when well cooked.  Make an extra batch simply by doubling up the recipe and freezing them for later.  You will need:

• Pancetta, 6 thin slices

• Lean ground sirloin, 2lbs

• Fresh thyme sprigs

• Cheddar, thinly sliced

• Burger buns

Finely chop the pancetta – you may find this easier if the pancetta is put in the freezer for a few minutes first so it doesn’t stick to the knife.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped pancetta with the ground beef, just the leaves from 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme and a liberal amount of sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Try not to handle the meat too much at this stage as it gets tough.
Form the beef mixture into 8 roughly equal-sized patties; lay them on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the grill.  Cook the burgers over high heat for about 4 minutes or until they are just browned on one side then turn and cook them for another 4 minutes; place place a slice of cheddar on each one.  Continue to cook until the cheese is fully melted, and the burger is cooked, another minute or so. While the burgers are cooking, toast the buns.  Add the burger, your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Set aside extra cooked burgers until they are cool then refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Bacon-Double-Cheeseburger Pizzas

Bacon-Double-Cheeseburger Pizzas

Bacon-Double-Cheeseburger Pizzas

When I visit certain friends in Florida, we often order a bacon-double-cheeseburger pizza to eat poolside along with a cooler full of beers while we watch a spectacular sunset.  It comes loaded with the greasiest, most delicious ingredients that pay homage to its muse, the burger.  It conjures up such good memories that I wanted to create a version that’s less of a heart-attack-on-a-plate; this seems to work.  You will need:

• Individual pizza crusts, 2

• Leftover cooked burgers (I used 3)

• Marinara sauce (I used Rao’s)

• Grated mozzarella

• Grated cheddar

• Red onion, peeled & very thinly sliced

• Crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400F.

Lay the crusts on a counter or board. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over each, then drop small spoonfuls of the meat mixture all over the pizzas. Top with sliced onions and mushrooms and the two cheeses – I used about twice as much mozzarella as cheddar. In the photo above I also added arugula but it wilts a little in the heat.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the crust is crisp.  I used frozen crust for mine that needed a little longer to cook; when in doubt follow the instructions for the crusts you buy.

Have a Pizza Party invite over some friends, lay out individual pizza crusts, a variety of toppings and let guests make their own; share a glass of wine while they bake and you’ve got yourself a party for adults and kids alike.