Note from Renee: This post is the first on my new, collaborative approach to this blog. Since my family loves to make good food just as much as I do, I have invited them to contribute to the site. This post comes from my parents. In the future, you’ll be able to tell who’s posting by our different user names. Enjoy!
It’s hard to beat a good burger. So, when the Today show had a burger contest recently, and the winner was from our new home (Seattle), we had to try the winning recipe. Unfortunately, the strawberry season is over, so we were unable to use the delicious local berries. Next summer we will for sure, as this recipe is definitely a keeper. Sometimes with recipes like this, it seems like the special ingredient gets overwhelmed by all the other flavors-not so with this recipe. The strawberry flavor comes through and is perfect with the smokiness of the BBQ sauce and bacon. The addition of fresh strawberries in the salad topping also adds to the fresh flavor. We only made two small changes in the original recipe. First, we substituted arugula for the salad greens. The spiciness of the arugula was great. We also used feta instead of bleu cheese as we have a non-blue cheese eater here-but I think the bacon/ bleu cheese combo would be great. Kudos to Jaeger Stolz-he deserves the $100,000!
Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burgers
Source: Jaeger Stolz, winner of the annual “Build a Better Burger” contest
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon dark molasses
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Add 2/3 of the strawberries to a blender, reserving the remaining berries for the salad. Add the tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the blender and pulse until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture into a fire-proof saucepan and place on a gas grill or on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the molasses and brown sugar and bring to a slow boil, stirring often, then remove from the heat, cover with foil, and keep warm.
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
- Remaining sliced strawberries from making sauce
- 4 ounces gorgonzola or or other blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of salt
1. Combine the onion, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature to quick-pickle the onions.
2. Toss the greens, basil, and remaining strawberries in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until assembling the burgers. Keep the crumbled cheese chilled until assembly.
to assemble burgers:
- 2 1/4 pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 12 strips thick-cut smoked bacon
- 6 thick slices Gruyere cheese
- 6 brioche hamburger buns, split
1. Combine the beef, soy sauce, pepper, and parsley in a large bowl and mix together well, handling the meat as little as possible. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties, leaving a slight indention in the center of patties; this allows the final product to be more equal in thickness when finished. Set aside until grilling.
2. Cook the bacon in a fire-proof skillet on the grill or stovetop over medium-high heat until browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
3. Heat the grill to medium-high. Place the patties on the rack and cook until done to preference, 3 to 5 minutes. The top of the patty should look like it has cooked a little. Flip once and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Top each patty with the BBQ sauce, then a slice of the Gruyere cheese. Cover the grill, and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove the patties from the grill and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
4. To assemble the burgers, top each bun bottom with a patty and two strips of the bacon. Lightly drain the pickled onions, add to the mixed greens along with the crumbled cheese, and toss to combine. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and toss again lightly. Pile salad on the top of each burger. Spread a little more BBQ sauce on the toasted sides of the bun tops and place on top of the salad.