Thursday, August 29, 2019

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I received no direct compensation for this post; however, I have accepted two trips to the Certified Angus Beef® Brand Culinary Center this year.

I just ate the best burger last night - a pan-seared Certified Angus Beef® Brand burger on a toasted bun topped with sauteed onions, homemade pepper jack pimento cheese, and our home-cured bacon.

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger featuring Certified Angus Beef Brand Schweid and Sons
This burger was cheesy, smoky, gooey, and slightly spicy from the poblano and pepper jack cheese.  I would be thrilled to get this burger at a sports pub.

Dinner was a last-minute thought process last night.  Alexis was calling me from Food City and I just told her to buy "burger stuff."  I wasn't sure what kind of burger I was going to make, burgers just sounded like a good idea.

Schweid & Sons burger patties are ideal for quick dinner solutions.
My favorite way to make a burger is to start with a home ground brisket and sirloin flap blend, but I wasn't about to do all of that tonight.  For quick nights like this, we often go with Schweid and Son's.  The C.A.B. All American is made with Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck with the One Percenter burgers are made with USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef® Brand beef.

When Alexis got home, she reminded me that we had a batch of Pepper Jack Pimento Cheese that we made earlier in the week.  Naturally, we decided to make pimento cheese burgers.

Digging in the freezer, Alexis found some home-cured Sorghum and Bourbon Bacon that we smoked a while back.  The burgers just got upgraded.

My set up for the cook was a large Big Green Egg filled with Tennessee hardwood lump charcoal lit in three places with a gas torch.  I ran it with direct heat in the 400°f range for the bacon and onions.  When I put the burgers on, I upped the temperature to 450°f.

I placed a small cast-iron skillet directly on the grill grates.  I added a bit of beef tallow and then a thinly sliced onion for sauteed onions.  I just tossed them every few minutes until they were golden brown.  Then I seasoned them with some of my finely ground beef rub, but you could just use salt and pepper.

Cooking bacon in cast iron skillet on a Big Green Egg
This Sorghum Bourbon Bacon is a recipe from my second book, The Offset Smoker Cookbook.  That's cooking in a Lodge 8SK, a fantastic skillet for the grill.  It is inexpensive, built like a tank and fits well inside an Egg or other 18" sized grill.  Just take care of it, and you'll have a grill skillet for life.

Home cured and smoked bacon cooked on a Big Green Egg kamado grill
I cooked the bacon in a larger cast iron skillet while the onions cooked.

Since these weren't actual caramelized onions, when they got about this color, I pulled them from the grill, sprinkled in a few pinches of sugar and let the carry-over heat of the skillet finish browning them.  This gives them some of the sweet taste and color of caramelized onions.

I lightly brushed the buns with some mayo and toasted them on the grill.  I know that might seem weird but try mayo instead of butter the next time you do a grilled cheese or toast buns for burgers.

I cooked the burgers in the fat from the bacon.  I cooked the burgers about 4 minutes per side.  When there was about a minute and a half left, I topped each with some of our homemade pepper jack pimento cheese.  

Pepper Jack Pimento Cheese

We didn't really make this a recipe, we were having fun and just mixing it to taste.  But it was pretty close to this.

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fire-roasted poblano
1/3 cup Duke's mayo
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon sweet BBQ rub (I used my NMT Southern Sweet)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste

Mix all together and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

pimento cheese burger
I swear I could eat them just like this.

Mmmm pimento cheese waterfall!

There isn't much better than a Certified Angus Beef brand burger topped with homemade pimento cheese.
When I see pimento cheese on a burger on a menu, there's a high-percentage chance I'm going to order it.  In Knoxville, I like the Volhouz Burg'R at KTown Tavern and the Southern Caviar Burger at Big Kahuna Wings.  Both are laden with delicious pimento cheese and other toppings.  

Certified Angus Beef burger topped with pimento cheese, sauteed onions, and homecured bacon.
This might just be the perfect pub-style burger.  The home-cured bacon, sauteed onions, spicy pimento cheese, and thick Schweid and Sons burger are amazing together.