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The Best Bacon Onion Cheeseburger
Plus, a Tip for Finding Recipes
My wife always says she wants to write a cookbook. Considering she rarely ever cooks, I’m not sure what would be in there. Chocolate chip cookies, I suppose. Hers are the best. Maybe it’s some latent female desire I’ll never understand, to b the kindly old grandma passing down her recipes on impeccably handwritten index cards. Or maybe she just watched too much HGTV growing up. But I cook a lot, so I offer to collaborate, saying we can call it, “The First Result on Google,” because that’s where I get all of my recipes.
Seriously, if you ever need a recipe for anything, anything at all, just Google it. Groundbreaking, I know. What is this, the 90s? If you want to be really hip and based (did I use that correctly?) like the youths, you can just ask the AI to make one for you. It works; I tried it. But I guarantee some momblog or cooking show has exactly what you need, probably buried under five paragraphs of text you won’t read, and so do a thousand other sites. That’s the whole purpose of the internet. They are all more or less the same, so don’t overcomplicate things. Just click on the first one you see. You’ll probably end up modifying it anyway.
A little while back, we decided to have some family over at the last minute, so I was trying to come up with something easy and good to make for dinner, and since we had some ground meat in the fridge, I decided to make burgers. Now, I don’t actually need to Google how put salt and pepper on some meat, shape it into a patty, and cook it. I know how to make burgers. That’s not very impressive. I was looking for something to make it special, to sweeten the pot, to spice things up a little bit. Bacon, of course, so that my son has something to eat. Also onions, which I love and have in abundance. I had an idea to make that bacon and onion jelly that you can find at fancy burger places, which is apparently called chutney. I had no idea how to make it, though. So I Googled it.
The first result was this recipe. I gave it a try, but I only used a third a pack of bacon for the sauce. Pig fat isn’t cheap or light on calories (it’s also not vegan or kosher, fyi), and the kids wanted to eat the rest normally. Since I’m not usually a fan of balsamic, I used apple cider vinegar instead. But while it was cooking, it was looking kind of pale, so I added some splashes of balsamic just for a little color, mostly to make it harder to tell the onions apart from the bacon. Finally, I hate mustard, so yeah, we didn’t have any. Whatever you decide to add, though, the most important part of the recipe is that you cook it long enough. You want to make sure it reduces into a thick, sweet jelly. It shouldn’t be dripping our of your bun. So give yourself plenty of time before you want to eat. You don’t need to eat it hot, and it will keep.
It was so good, the perfect bit of sweet and smoky and savory to go with the (turkey) burger and cheese and ketchup. Everyone loved it. My wife was raving about it. She saved the leftovers and put it on random other foods. Even I was impressed with my Googling skills on this one. You should really try it. Follow the link if you want, or I will put the ingredients I used below. I made very slight changes, so I feel justified in claiming it as my own.
It had been years since we’d made burgers outside the Fourth of July, but now we had the craving. We’ve eaten them several more times since, sometimes when friends or family come over, sometimes on our own. I wasn’t quite satisfied, though. Something was still missing. It had plenty of protein and fat and sugar and carbs. It was juicy and savory and salty and sweet. Spice. That’s what it needed. A little kick. Not too much. Just enough to hit that last note. My wife loves mayonnaise, so what better way to add some kick than a spicy aioli? I’d never made an aioli before, though. So I Googled it.
The first result was this recipe. Aioli is just some spices mixed into mayonnaise, so I won’t insult your cooking skills by explaining how to do it. I already had all the ingredients lying around, and it took less than 5 minutes to whip up. A slight slathering on the top bun brought the whole package together into the best bacon onion cheeseburger, the best any kind of burger, I’ve had in a long while. Try it for yourself. You wont regret it. After all, there’s a reason these recipes are the top results on Google.
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RECIPE: Bacon Onion Chutney
¼ lbs. bacon, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Splash of balsamic vinegar (optional)
⅓ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup water
In a medium pot, cook the bacon until it begins to crisp (don’t overcook). Drain the fat.
Add remaining ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
Remove lid and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or until the onions are very soft and the liquid has reduced to a thick jelly, stirring as needed.
Put aside to cool until ready to serve