A good burger is probably one of the first foods that come to mind when you ask folks about American cuisine. As it is, we consume about 50 billion each year! The name itself comes from Germany as in the City of Hamburg. It’s thought to have referred to a meat dish that was served on a slice bread in Hamburg.
When it comes to our current American version of the burger, there’s a lot of argument as to who served it first, this timeline gives a short rundown on the history of an American invention. They’ve come a long way from the basic meat patty served on bread. Today you can find some amazing burger dressings that include avocado, eggs, and even gold leaf! The Ghost Burger at Kuma’s Corner in Chicago has a ghost chili aioli (fancy mayo) and braised goat shoulder. And for those throwing the gauntlet to their Cardiologist, there’s the Triple Coronary Bypass at Vortex Bar & Grill in Atlanta.
Our culinary limits when it comes to burgers are only limited by our imagination. For the burger I wanted to share with you guys today, I thought “what components most come to mind when I stack a burger” and how could I mix it up a bit? Some of my personal favorite toppings are a good cheese (Cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere, American), a few slices of thick, smoked bacon, baby spinach, crispy onions, an over-medium egg, and our Fireball BBQ sauce. I also love doing caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms as well.
If you like it, experiment with it!
You might find a new combination that blows your socks off. As always, there should be a great mix of flavors and textures – and it should run down your chin just a little when you bite into it. Sometimes you just gotta be messy when eating great food. It adds another level of fun with sharing around the table with family and friends.
For today’s recipe, I took of few of these favorites and mashed them together for what I like to call The Messy Burger.
Ingredients for the Burger
2 lbs. 93/7 lean ground beef
1 lb. natural ground pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Natural)
6 strips thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, roughly chopped into pieces no bigger than ½ inch
1 cup Kraft Triple Cheddar, shredded
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. ground parsley
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 ½ Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic puree
2 tsp. ground mustard
Normally I’d use an 80/20 beef mixture, however, because of the extra fat provided by the sausage and bacon I didn’t feel that it was necessary for this recipe.
Mix the above ingredients together in a large bowl. If you’re using your hands, you don’t want to work the mixture for too long as the warmth from your hands will start breaking down the fat.
I use a ½ sheet pan lined with wax paper as a staging area while I shape the patties.
As for the burgers themselves, even though our kids are going through growth spurts, I made ¼ pound burgers for them and ½ pound for the adults.
I used a burger press to help with the shape. While I didn’t use a burger brander I thought this was a fun idea for leaving your mark on a burger, we are in Texas after all, why not brand it.
The biggest caveat/rule I can say for making a great burger comes once the cook is finished; your bun-to-meat ratio has to be equal. No one wants to eat the amazing burger that you just made for them and finish it off with a mouthful of bread. Like we’ve talked about before, temperature is a matter of personal preference. In our house, we go for medium (about 3 min on each side) and little more towards medium well for the kids. You can finish these off on the grill or a hot skillet.
- 2 lbs. 93/7 lean ground beef
- 1 lb. natural ground pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Natural)
- 6 strips thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, roughly chopped into pieces no bigger than ½ inch
- 1 cup Kraft Triple Cheddar, shredded
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tbsp. ground parsley
- 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 ½ Tbsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. garlic puree
- 2 tsp. ground mustard
- your favorite toppings
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. If you’re using your hands, you don’t want to work the mixture for too long as the warmth from your hands will start breaking down the fat.
- Create 6 patties.
- Grill or cook on a skillet to your preferred temp. About 3 minutes on each side to reach medium. If you're unsure of the cook use a meat thermometer. Cheat Sheet Meat Temperature Cooking Chart
- Serve on a bun and pile high with your favorite toppings.
For Freezer Meals/ Meal Prepping
“Cooked burgers can be safely refrigerated for about three to four days and can be frozen for up to four months. When reheating fully cooked patties, make sure the internal temperature reaches 165° F.” – From How to Cook and Prep Safely
The Perfect Pair
Now for the pairings. Being that there’s a fair amount fat in this burger, I like to go for a darker beer like Guinness Draught or a nice hoppy IPA like Deschutes Fresh-Squeezed IPA. They have an amazing Black Butte Porter that’s worth tasting as well. Regardless, however you eat your burger or what you wash it down with – enjoy!