Summer time means Burger Time! At our house, but also I think for most folks burgers are a true summer staple. When we make burgers at our place I always want them to be top notch. And these Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers do not disappoint! It’s honestly a pretty classic combination, but it’s hard to go wrong with a classic. I recommend finding the best bacon and blue cheese you can afford to really get the full awesomeness of these burgers.Jump to Recipe
I haven’t actually posted too many burger recipes before. Partially because there are a lot around, but mostly because I really want to love a recipe before sharing it. And as much as burgers are considered simple food, I think a good one takes care and practice. The first place you want to start is with the best beef you can find. Don’t be afraid of higher fat beef, the fat helps make the burger truly great.
Heart Valley Homestead Highland Beef
I recently had the absolute pleasure of meeting Becky and Jon from Heart Valley Homestead. If you aren’t following them on Instagram, definitely head over and follow them. They are local to the Ottawa valley and are starting their business of raising Highland Cattle for meat. There are a few homesteaders that I truly admire and am inspired by, and these two very quickly got added to that list. Their beef is for sure a favourite in this house now, so don’t be surprised if I talk them up a lot in future posts. If you’re able to get some of Becky and Jon’s beef, you should! Their beef took these Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers from great to awesome!
Now onto the beef! Highland beef is always medium, never lean, so it really is perfect for burgers. (Normally with lower quality beef I would add pork into the beef to help keep it moist.) With this beef there was no need, it’s marbled really nicely. The first tip for getting your burgers to maintain tenderness and moisture is not over handling the beef. It’s really tempting to mix and mix the beef when adding seasoning. And to press them hard into tight patties. But all that handling and pressing will cause your burgers to be dry and the patties to shrink a lot more.
Tips for Perfect Burgers
Gently break up the beef by just pulling it into small pieces, and almost letting it fall apart. Next add your seasonings. Hold off on salt at this point, or add just a touch of finishing salt. But most of your salt should be added to the outside of the burgers. Again, this will help to not dry the meat out. Sprinkle the seasonings on top and gently toss through the beef, sort of like you would toss a salad. But very gently! I can’t stress the gently part enough!
Shaping the burgers is a part where most people lose the tenderness in their burgers. Don’t press and squish the patties tightly together. Divide the beef into balls about the size of a softball (This recipe makes 4 pretty big burgers). As gently as you can, shape them into ¾” thick patties. They will be very delicate, and feel like they will fall apart. Resist the urge to press them hard. I shape mine with gentle pressure around the outside. Now for the all important indent. This will be the hardest you press on these patties. Using two fingers, press down into the center of the patty, about half way in. Make an indentation that’s about ½” in diameter. Indenting the center of the burger means it will cook through more easily, and prevent the outer edges of the patty from over cooking. This is particularly important with Highland beef; though it’s fatty, it can be over cooked easily. Having the indent means you lose less moisture and tenderness, while still ensuring fully cooked burgers.
Now, sprinkle the outside of your patties with salt, liberally, and set them aside to rest. Yes, to rest. Like pastry. You’ve just handled them a bunch, and no matter how gentle you were, you still will have caused the meat to tense up. Resting the patties allows the meat to relax again, which will help reduce shrinking.
Choose your Buns!
For these bacon blue cheese burgers, I recommend a sturdy bun. They are big and have a lot of toppings, and you don’t want to lose anything. If you feel like taking your burger game up another notch, you could make your own buns. My Sourdough Sandwich Bread recipe is the dough I use for our burger buns. The dough can be divided nicely into 6 buns. Egg wash the tops after they rise, and top with sesame seeds. Then bake at 375F for about 12 minutes, rotate, and bake until deep golden brown. (About another 12-14minutes) They are super chewy, and hold up really well to big burgers. They also freeze well, if you want to stock them up for future summer burger fun.
Serve up these burgers with fries, or salad, or just on their own!
As everyone is starting to bring in their spring harvests it’s time to get some yummy spring recipes on the go. My favourite spring time recipe is these French Style Peas. And of course it’s never too early to start rebuilding your jam supply, and in spring that means Rhubarb Cider Jam.
Bacon Blue Cheese Burger
Quick Pickled Onions
- 1/2 Red Onion Thinly Sliced
- Red Wine Vinegar Enough to cover the Onions in a Jar
- 2 lbs Medium Ground Beef Highest quality you can find
- 3 cloves Garlic Finely Diced
- 1 Tbsp Herb de Provence
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes
- 2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 8 Slices High Quality Bacon
- Crumbly Blue Cheese
- Pea Shoots or Arugula Optional
- 4 Burger Buns of your choice
Quick Pickled Onions
- Add the thinly sliced red onions to a mason jar. Cover with the red wine vinegar. Seal the jar, and give it a shake. Set aside until ready to use. Store in the fridge after using.
- Gently break apart the ground beef into a bowl. Add the garlic, herb de provence, chili flakes, and black pepper. No salt for the moment. Very, very gently, toss the seasoning through the beef. Try to not handle the beef too much.
- Once the seasonings are mixed in, it's time to shape the burgers. Divide the meat in to 4, and very gently shape into 3/4" thick patties. Don't press or squish the patties if you can help it. They will seem delicate, but that's okay! The less you press and squish them, the more tender and juicy they'll be. Using two fingers, gently press an indentation into the center of each patty. This ensures that they cook fully in the center without over cooking the edges.
- Set the burgers on a cutting board or plate. Sprinkle them on both sides liberally with salt. Then let the patties rest for about 20 minutes, while you cook the bacon and prep the grill.
- Cook the bacon to whatever crispiness you like. Drain off the excess fat and set aside.
- While the burgers rest, heat and oil your grill. If you're using charcoal this can take about 20-30 minutes depending on your grill.
- Grill the burgers for about 6-7minutes per side over medium high heat. These patties are delicate, so handle with care. All the gentle handling may seem like over kill but you will not be disappointed by the juicy tenderness.
- Just as the burgers finish cooking, slice and quickly toast the buns on the grill.
- Plate up the burgers; Start with a generous spoonful of pesto on the bun. Top with the burger patties, then the bacon, blue cheese, pickled onions, and greens of your choice. Top off with bun and enjoy!