Bacon Cheeseburger

See the RecipeMaura McEvoy

There are many ways to make a bacon cheeseburger but this one, from former SAVEUR editor Colman Andrews, is one of our favorites. Tamari, which is aged soy sauce without added wheat, is available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Lightly crusty, oval Portuguese rolls are sold mostly on the East Coast; if they're unavailable, other rolls may be substituted.

Bacon Cheeseburger
We like ours with lettuce and cheddar, tamari sauce, and french-fried potatoes—is this your cheeseburger in paradise?
Yield: makes 4

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 lb. ground beef or chuck
  • Salt
  • 4 tsp. tamari
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tbsp. grated white cheddar cheese
  • 4 Portuguese roll or other crusty white roll, split
  • 8 leaves iceberg lettuce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler. Fry bacon in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat, turning often, until crisp, 5–6 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, and set aside. Set skillet with rendered bacon fat aside if cooking hamburgers on stove.
  2. Gently shape meat into four 4 1⁄2" patties (don't over-handle meat, or it will toughen), then generously season one side with salt.
  3. Return skillet with bacon fat to stove and heat over medium-high heat. Sear patties, salt side down, until bottom is well browned, about 1 minute. Flip patties, spoon 1 tsp.tamari and 1 tsp. lemon juice on top of each patty, generously season with pepper, and sear until bottom is well browned, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Put cheese on top of patties and broil until melted but not browned, about 1 minute.
  4. To assemble, put patty on bottom roll, arrange 2 slices of bacon on top of cheese, and top with 2 leaves of lettuce (if using). Spread barbecue sauce, ketchup, and/or other condiments, alone or in combination, on top half of roll, if you like, and place top roll on lettuce. Serve with fried Onion Rings, Shoestring Fried Potatoes, or Potato Chips, if you like.

Variation: This recipe can also be prepared using an outdoor grill. Prepare grill for direct heat and preheat. Fry bacon in a medium skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, and set aside. Shape and season meat as described in step 2 above. Sear patties, salt side down over hot coals, until bottom is well browned. Flip patties, spoon 1 tsp. tamari and 1 tsp. lemon juice on top of each patty, generously season with pepper, and sear until bottom is well browned. Continue to cook until preferred doneness. Put cheese on top of patties and grill until melted. To assemble, follow step 4 above.