makes 4 servings
4 thick bacon slices
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground chuck or 90 percent lean ground sirloin
3/4 cup cheese curds or string cheese, chopped
salt and ground black pepper
4 good quality hamburger buns
4 1/4 inch thick slices ripe tomato (optional)
4 thin slices white onion (optional)
4 Iceberg lettuce leaves (optional)
Place bacon slices on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Sprinkle each slice with brown sugar. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until crisp. When cool enough to handle, chop bacon; set aside.
Divide beef into eight equal portions. Pat beef portions into patties approximately 4 inches in diameter and about 3/4-inch thick.
Equally divide and place the bacon and 3 tablespoons of the cheese curds in the middle of four of the patties, leaving 1/2 inch around the edge of the patty. Top each with the remaining 4 patties. Pinch edges of top and bottom patties together to form one large burger patty. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Season burgers with salt and black pepper. For a charcoal grill, place the patties on the well-oiled rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 10 minutes. Turn with a wide spatula and grill 10 to 12 minutes more, until meat is cooked and an instant-read thermometer inserted into patties registers 160 degrees F. Toast buns, cut side down, on grill during last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on grill rack and cover and grill as above.)
To serve, place a cooked burger on bottom half of each bun. If you like, top each with tomato, onion, and lettuce. Makes 4 servings.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Chef John McClure, Starker's Restaurant, 201 W 47th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, for Midwest Living Magazine