TOP
Peppered bacon and blue cheese burger

Peppered bacon and blue cheese burger recipe

Just around the corner from our house was an underrated burger place named Ted E’s Burgers and More. From their admittedly nondescript plaza restaurant, they would serve some really fresh and tasty burgers, made with their signature homemade buns, for a very reasonable price*. Twenty dollars would buy us two burgers just stacked with toppings, a small side of hand-cut fries and in weaker moments, a heaping order of fried pickles and dipping sauce. That would leave us with some food for the next day and plenty of cash leftover for a nice tip. Not a bad deal.

We brought home Ted-E’s stapled white carry-out bags several times a month, which is an impressive achievement considering that choosing a restaurant in our house is only slightly less difficult than passing — and keeping — universal healthcare legislation**. I only ever really ordered their blue cheese bacon burger and she would get any burger that had Texas or guacamole in the name. So when Ted-E’s closed their doors last July, they left a burger-shaped hole in my life that needed to be filled.

The hamburger patties we normally use are the ones we grind ourselves using a version of Alton Brown’s Burger of the Gods recipe — the burgers taste better and we don’t have to worry about the pink slime many supermarkets add to their “100% pure” ground beef. We’ve yet to successfully replicate their amazing hamburger buns, so a kaiser roll or high-quality bun will have to do for now. (Her grandmother, Betty, made some legendary rolls in her time that might be work as well or better than Ted-E’s buns, so be on the look out for that recipe.) Peppered bacon is amazing, but I’m really fixated on the blue cheese aioli — it’s basically my entire motivation to make this bacon and blue cheese burger.

I was indoctrinated with blue cheese from a very young age. I know many children are practically floating in ranch and honey mustard, but not me. I never even tried a salad with ranch dressing until I was in high school — and that was only by mistake. A terrible, terrible low-calorie, fat-free ranch mistake. Now that I’m older, I’ve stopped judging restaurants solely by the quality of their blue cheese dressing and have learned to adopt a handful of additional options for my salads that are certainly healthier but not nearly as gratifying. So, when I have a chance to just dig into some blue cheese aioli — err, I mean burger — I’m always sure to take full advantage.

* Some people seem to disagree in their reviews on Yelp that $6 is a fair price for a burger. Considering the average price of a Big Mac is around $4.79 according to the Big Mac Index (the what?), I’m feeling pretty comfortable with Ted-E’s numbers. The “Big” in Big Mac is actually the gargantuan three-part hamburger bun, not the “all beef” patties as they would like you to believe. By that standard, the Big Mac is an insanely overpriced sandwich, *packing* a little over two ounces of cooked beef.

** They’re disturbingly similar processes: a proposal is submitted by one party; there is a heated debate — fraught with partisan issues — that results in the failure of said proposal; the proposal is then restructured with new provisions and incentives and re-submitted; the proposal narrowly passes. Sometimes, there are even movements to repeal. Occasionally, a higher court is even needed to settle the issue. Thankfully, Ted-E’s has always enjoyed full bipartisan support.

Image: ForkingSpoon



Peppered bacon and blue cheese burger recipe

Yields8 Servings

Blue cheese aioli and mouthwatering peppered bacon are the stars of this spectacular bacon and blue cheese burger that will leave you wanting more.

Prep Time10 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time35 mins

Ingredients

FOR THE PEPPERED BACON
 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
 ¼ cup brown sugar
  teaspoon cayenne
 8 slices thick-cut bacon
FOR THE BLUE CHEESE AIOLI
 8 ounces blue cheese
 1 clove garlic, grated
 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
 1 cup mayonnaise
FOR THE BURGERS
 4 leaves green leaf lettuce
 8 slices beefsteak tomatoe
 2 slices red onion
 8 hamburger patties, cooked
 8 hamburger buns, cut in two

Instructions

FOR THE PEPPERED BACON
1

Prepare the peppered bacon rub
In a ziplock bag, combine the brown sugar and coarsely ground black pepper. Seal the bag tightly and shake vigorously until the mixture is well combined. Separate the bacon slices and seal 1 slice at a time in the bag. Shake to coat. Repeat for the remaining bacon slices.

2

Cook the peppered bacon
Place 8 slices of bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Once the internal temperature reaches 400 degrees F, remove the bacon and generously brush each slice with the brown sugar and pepper mixture. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the bacon has reached the desired crispiness. Remove from the baking sheet to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess grease.

FOR THE BLUE CHEESE AIOLI
3

Make the blue cheese aioli
In a medium mixing bowl, add the blue cheese crumbles, lightly mashing and mixing larger chunks of blue cheese with a fork. Add the grated garlic, mustard and mayonnaise and whisk together until the ingredients are well combined. (Use an immersion blender to make an aioli with a much smoother texture if you prefer.)

FOR THE BURGERS
4

Assemble the burgers
Lightly toast each half of each bun on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes (spread butter or margarine on the buns first if you prefer). Layer the bottom half of the bun with the lettuce, salted tomato and onion. Place a hamburger patty on top and gently press until the burger is firmly situated. Top with the blue cheese aioli and the remaining half of the bun.


Notes

Thick-cut bacon is a must, but peppered bacon isn't for everyone. So, if it's too spicy for you, it isn't essential. If you never had a chance to try peppered bacon, it should be on your bacon-bucket list.

Ingredients

FOR THE PEPPERED BACON
 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
 ¼ cup brown sugar
  teaspoon cayenne
 8 slices thick-cut bacon
FOR THE BLUE CHEESE AIOLI
 8 ounces blue cheese
 1 clove garlic, grated
 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
 1 cup mayonnaise
FOR THE BURGERS
 4 leaves green leaf lettuce
 8 slices beefsteak tomatoe
 2 slices red onion
 8 hamburger patties, cooked
 8 hamburger buns, cut in two

Directions

FOR THE PEPPERED BACON
1

Prepare the peppered bacon rub
In a ziplock bag, combine the brown sugar and coarsely ground black pepper. Seal the bag tightly and shake vigorously until the mixture is well combined. Separate the bacon slices and seal 1 slice at a time in the bag. Shake to coat. Repeat for the remaining bacon slices.

2

Cook the peppered bacon
Place 8 slices of bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Once the internal temperature reaches 400 degrees F, remove the bacon and generously brush each slice with the brown sugar and pepper mixture. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the bacon has reached the desired crispiness. Remove from the baking sheet to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess grease.

FOR THE BLUE CHEESE AIOLI
3

Make the blue cheese aioli
In a medium mixing bowl, add the blue cheese crumbles, lightly mashing and mixing larger chunks of blue cheese with a fork. Add the grated garlic, mustard and mayonnaise and whisk together until the ingredients are well combined. (Use an immersion blender to make an aioli with a much smoother texture if you prefer.)

FOR THE BURGERS
4

Assemble the burgers
Lightly toast each half of each bun on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes (spread butter or margarine on the buns first if you prefer). Layer the bottom half of the bun with the lettuce, salted tomato and onion. Place a hamburger patty on top and gently press until the burger is firmly situated. Top with the blue cheese aioli and the remaining half of the bun.

Peppered bacon and blue cheese burger

IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING: The USDA cautions against washing your meat before grinding or cooking due to it's ineffectiveness and risks of cross contamination. Additionally, they recommend that all ground beef be cooked to 160 degrees F as measured by a "thermistor or thermocouple food thermometer if possible" (a ThermoWorks Thermapen or Lavatools Javelin for instance).

RELATED LINKS
Handling food safely
Safe cooking temperatures (Chart)
Using a thermometer
The importance of resting

Fresh ground meat and ground turkey can be safely refrigerated for 1-2 days and frozen for up to 4 months with minimal quality loss. To freeze, place the fresh patties on a tray, cover and freeze for 6-8 hours. Wrap patties individually using plastic wrap or freezer paper, removing as much air as possible. Stay organized and give your frozen food extra protection by placing the wrapped patties in a labelled and dated freezer bag. Stacked patties should be separated with wax paper squares (or a suitable substitute).

RELATED LINKS
Preparing food to freeze
Refrigerator and freezer storage times (Chart)


DISCLOSURE Hey there! Just so you know, this post might contain links to Amazon or other trusted affiliates where we make a small commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. We’ve also hand-picked some products for this recipe we thought our smart (and attractive) readers might enjoy : ) Learn more about our affiliate linking policy.