July 7, 2011
I recently went on a long and satisfying vacation to the Gulf of Mexico (more on this later), but it started with a drive to my parents house in Ohio, before all three of us drove down together to the Gulf. That evening in Ohio, we made these for dinner, and they were a big hit. Also, I can’t stress how much easier/quicker it was to do both the cooking and the photography as a result of having two other people help with food prep. Seriously, folks, get yourselves some cooking buddies; you will not regret it.
Strictly speaking, these burgers don’t involve actual bacon, since the meat is neither smoked nor cured, but the taste is similar, and made from the same cut of meat as bacon. I’d have smoked the pork if I had a smoker (some day!) but for now, this is all I could do. The pork belly came from a really great local organic farm, the cheese from the restaurant where I work (gotta love catering event leftovers), and the burgers are organic/local from a farm in my parents’ neck of the woods.
Time Commitment: about an hour
1 vidalia onion
1/2 lb pork belly, sliced like bacon
assorted spices (paprika, cinnamon, garlic, allspice, cayenne, and salt)
good bleu cheese (I used Colston-Bassett Blue Stilton)
2 lbs organic ground beef
Cut the onion into 1/2 inch slices, then caramelize in the oil of your choice. While the onion is cooking, fry up the pork belly. After the pork gets crispy, take it out of the pan, crumble it, and then toss it with the spice mixture while it’s still hot. Place on a plate covered in paper towel. As it cools and the excess fat drains onto the towel, the spices will stick to the meat.
Next, divide the beef into 4 half-pound balls. In a bowl, mix the bacon and the cheese together, and stuff the burgers using the same basic method described in this post, only make them flat (like burgers) instead of round (like meatballs). Remember to leave some room between the stuffing and the edge of the burger, since the burgers will shrink during cooking, and you want to keep the filling inside of them.
Cut the apple in half, and then cut thin slices (1/4” or so) of apple for each burger. Grill the burgers, adding the apple after you flip them. Once the burgers have grilled on both sides, top them with the caramelized onion, and, if you wish, a curl of apple peel as a garnish.
Part of Primal Toad’s blog carnival