Bacon Jam and Pretzel Buns: Burger Recipes with a Twist
The latest delivery from Holy Grail Steak included their Santa Carota Beef Burgers. And all I could think about was how do I come up with a new way to dress up a burger? If you have read my blog, “Battle of the Grilled Beef Burgers,” I showed Planet Barbecue five creative ways to dress a burger, and, in another blog, “Up Your Burger Game With Wagyu Beef and These Pro Tips,” I discussed my strategies for a successful grilled burger. So, I was wondering what burger recipes to try next.
The Santa Carota Beef burgers are from cattle that roam free on an open range. The cattle are finished with carrots, containing moisture that infuses their muscles with vitamins B12 and beta-carotene. The combination of the healthy diet and ability to range free creates a moist and delicious beef that creates a net level burger. The Santa Carota Beef Burgers are only one of a variety of top-quality burgers Holy Grail Steak offers.
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I knew one of the burgers would be my wife’s favorite, the California burger. It includes lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, ranch dressing, and sometimes, bacon. I had two new ideas on how to dress up my burgers.
The first was to create a bacon jam to top the burger. I see bacon jam on menus all the time, but I don’t order burgers out since I get to cook burgers from Holy Grail right at home. The second new way was inspired by a pretzel bun I saw in the grocery store. I enjoy getting a soft pretzel when I’m out at a restaurant. The soft pretzels are commonly paired with a spicy cheese sauce or spicy mustard. I decided to combine them all. Here is how it all came together.
I like to prepare all my toppings ahead of time since it makes it easier to assemble the burgers when they come off the grill. I started by making the bacon jam. I cut a whole package of bacon into slivers. I fried it until crispy and let the bacon drain on paper towels. Next, I finely chopped one onion and three shallots and sauteed them in some bacon fat. Once the onion and the shallot were caramelized, I added the bacon, a half cup of brown sugar, one third of a cup apple cider vinegar, a quarter cup of maple syrup, and a teaspoon of chili powder. I cooked the mixture until the liquid reduced and thickened up. The bacon jam can be made the day before to save time.
While the bacon jam was cooking, I set up my Big Green Egg XL (BGE) for direct grilling. I inserted the cast-iron grates since I think they create a great sear on burgers. Burgers can be cooked on a gas grill, but cooking over charcoal adds another level of flavor to your burger.
To finish, I seasoned the burgers with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. I buttered brioche and pretzel buns. I cut the tomatoes, the lettuce, and avocado, and laid out the cheese.
Once the grill was hot and all my accoutrements were ready, I grilled the burgers. The burgers cooked a few minutes on each side. I added smoked Gouda cheese to the California and the bacon jam burger. I like smoked Gouda since it adds to the smoky aroma from cooking over a charcoal fire. I also toasted the brioche and pretzel buns.
To assemble the pretzel burger, I spread warm queso cheese sauce on the bottom bun and topped the burgers with Dijon mustard. The California burger started with lettuce on the bottom bun to keep it from getting soggy. Next, the burger with the melted cheese was placed on the lettuce. The burger was then topped with a slice of red heirloom tomato and avocado. Ranch dressing is spread on the top bun. The bacon jam burger started with lettuce and slices of a yellow heirloom tomato on the bottom. The the burger with the melted cheese went on top of the lettuce and tomato and was then topped with the bacon jam. I was salivating and ready to dig in and taste those burgers! The California burger was my wife’s favorite; she liked the fresh tomato, lettuce, and avocado and feels they contrast well with the beef, juicy burger.
Now, for my new creations: The pretzel burger had spice from the queso cheese and the Dijon mustard. I enjoyed the coarse salt on the bun, just like eating a pretzel. The two sauces did make this burger a challenge to hold and eat. I liked how the spice from the cheese and mustard paired with the burger without distracting from the taste of the meat. The bacon jam was delicious! The lettuce and yellow heirloom tomato added freshness to each bite. The burger was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The smoked Gouda cheese upped the smoky taste from cooking over charcoal. The bacon jam added texture from the bacon and onions. The apple cider vinegar and the chili powder balanced the sweetness of the brown sugar and maple syrup. Due to the texture and the consistency of the bacon jam, it was a condiment and a topping all at the same time.
The options for seasonings, cheeses, toppings, and buns are only limited by your imagination. I encourage you to get creative and select your favorite bun, cheese, and accoutrements for your burgers.
If you want to elevate your next cookout with beefy, juicy, and delicious burgers, Holy Grail Steak has you covered.
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