I’m off to Virginia for the Wine Bloggers Conference. Seems only fitting to post my “southern-inspired” bacon-stuffed burger with pimento cheese spread. Cheers!
Bacon-Stuffed Burgers with Pimento Cheese and Avocado
4 slices bacon, diced
1 large white onion, halved and sliced paper-thin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, plus extra
3 ounces cream cheese, soft or room temperature
4 ounces cheddar cheese,
1 large jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon (about 3 slices) chopped pickled jalapeno
1 tablespoon chopped pimentos
1 1/4 pound ground beef (with at least 16% fat)
Freshly ground pepper
4 Dutch crunch or other sturdy buns, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 large avocado, diced
1 cup (about 1 large handful) of baby lettuce mix
Put the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the bacon is browned and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Discard the drippings.
Slice the onion and put it into a narrow bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cheddar cheese.
Cut the fresh jalapeno into a tiny dice. Put in the food processor.
Chop the pickled jalapeno into a fine dice. Put in the food processor.
Add the pimentos and pinch of cayenne. Pulse until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Divide the ground beef into 8 equal portions and shape into 1/4-inch-thick patties. Divide the bacon among four of the patties. Top each with one of the remaining patties and press the edges together to seal.
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
Put the buns on the grill, cut-side down. Cook until toasted, about 1 minute, moving as needed to prevent burning.
Transfer to a cutting board and spread equal amounts of the mayo over the bottom of each bun. Mash one-quarter of the avocado on top of the mayo. Top with a small handful of the lettuce and some of the onions (refrigerate any leftovers in a sealed container for up to one week).
Spread the top of each roll with equal amounts of the pimento cheese. (Any leftover can be refrigerated for up to one week.)
Season the patties with salt and pepper and put on the grill. Cook, covered, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Divide among the rolls. Arrange the top half of the buns over each burger. Serve immediately.
What to drink: Carménère! This little known grape is of French origins but is a superstar in Chile. Primus, by Veramonte is made with Carménère. It’s juicy, fruity character makes nice with the salt and tang of this burger’s toppings.