Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pig Candy BBQ Cheeseburger

The French have the mirepoix.  Cajuns have "the trinity".  What do tailgaters have?  Bacon, cheese, and bbq sauce!  

Seriously, try to name one tailgate food that can't be improved with the addition of one or more of these.  So when Bush Beans sponsored a tailgate for us recently, I went "all in" and used all three for a great burger.   Since our tailgate had limited cooking set ups, I wanted a burger that could be made at home, transported and then quickly put together onsite. 

Instead of cramming a bunch of toppings into a cooler and carrying them with us, I crammed a bunch of toppings into a BBQ Cheese sauce and cooked some bacon.  They were really good the first time at the tailgate and they went great with the Maple Cured Bacon flavor of Bush's Baked Beans.  

But the beans tastes of cured bacon and real maple syrup, slow-simmered with a secret blend of seasonings, were whispering to me.  They kept saying "sweet" and "bacon".  I finally realized what they were telling me this burger really wanted....PIG CANDY!!!!! 

Bacon + Sugar + Spicy = Pig Candy

Pig Candy BBQ Cheeseburger
serves: 6

For The Burgers
  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 hamburger buns

For the Pig candy
  • 1 lb smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar (you can substitute brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp BBQ rub (or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)

For the BBQ Cheese Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (we used colby jack this time but medium cheddar works great)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mix together the bacon, sugar, and bbq rub, thoroughly coating the bacon with the seasoning.
  2. Cook the bacon at 375f according to package directions for "baking".  Instead, I cooked mine at 375f indirect with coal and cherry wood on my grill. 
  3. Preheat a sauce pan over medium high heat.  Melt butter and saute the jalapeno for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the flour and stir constantly for another 3-4 minutes until a blonde roux forms. 
  5. Reduce heat to medium and whisk in the half and half.
  6. Whisk in the red pepper flake and cheese in small batches, allowing the cheese to melt before adding more.
  7. Add the BBQ sauce, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.   We just added a pinch of each.
  8. Store BBQ Cheese sauce in a thermos and it will stay warm for several hours.
  9. Mix the burgers together and divide into a dozen 4-ounce patties.   
  10. Grill the patties on a 450f charcoal grill for 4 minutes per side.
  11. Assemble each burger from the bottom up:  bun - burger - 2 slices pig candy - burger - 2 or 3 Tbsp BBQ cheese sauce - bun.  
  • The pig candy amounts will give you 4 extra pieces.  Tell no one.  They are yours to cherish and devour.  
  • Wash your hands with really cold water before making the patties and keep your beef well chilled while forming the patties.

They were very good at the tailgate with regular bacon.  But Pig Candy wins every time.

Notice the "custom cherry wood rack divider"...it is very expensive equipment ;) 
The BBQ cheese sauce brings a ton of flavor but makes it portable.

Pig Candy BBQ Cheeseburger with Bush's Baked Beans - Maple Cured Bacon

Bush Beans Gameday Giveaway

And now for the lucky winner of the tailgating package sponsored by Bush's Beans......

#12 - Big Dude said...I mentioned the give away on my blog - http://bigdudesramblings.blogspot.com/2011/11/grilled-cheese-for-breakfast.html

WOW!  Not only was Larry also #1 to enter this contest (as well as #12), Bev and Larry have hosted the East TN food blogger get together for the past two years.   I almost wanted to re-draw because it looks "funny" with another Knoxville blog winning from my Knoxville blog sponsored by a Knoxville company but Alexis said, "No way, he won it fair and square!".   

Congratulations, Larry!  Email me your address.  

Thanks everyone and get ready for my December giveaway - a nice boxed set gift package for the BBQ lover.