Hi there. It's Hugh. Sara had a super busy week with the day job and couldn't make it to the kitchen before the sun went down; she asked me if I could carry the torch... So, while I'm in charge, we're having cheeseburgers.

I'm a creature of habit. I could eat a cheeseburger every day, and if it weren't for Sara, I probably would. Luckily, she's around, knows what's good for me, and makes things taste good. That's not to say that I don't order the entrée in question nearly every time we go out.

Of all the burgers I've eaten, a few stand out- tallest among them is a burger from Mission Beach Cafe, in SF, a restaurant suggested by Heidi, and one from Vine, a local spot here in South OC. What I really like about both of these burgers, is that the ingredients are simple. What takes them to the next level, is the quality of ingredients and the method of preparation. You can add all sorts of creative, off the wall ingredients to spice up a burger, but I think it's tough to beat something that is straight forward and properly crafted.

After a recent indulgence at Vine, I decided that I was going to learn the art of cheeseburger. I read an article in Sara's Food and Wine magazine, googled a bit for some inspiration, and then started tossing things in as I went along. The resulting recipe turned out well. Not as simple as I imagined, but tastier. And mind you, I'm not much of a foodie, so I don't have spot on reasons for a lot of what follows, but the end result seems to have pleased the few people I've had over for lunch.

THE BACON CHEESEBURGER // Makes three cheeseburgers

1 lb. Grass Fed Beef, 80% Lean
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
Garlic, Minced
Raw Milk White Cheddar, Shredded
6 Pieces of Crispy Bacon
3 English Muffins
Salt and Pepper

Whole Grain Mustard
More Garlic, minced cheeseburger_03

1. Fire up the grill, nice and hot. Mine tops out around 450', which seems to do the trick.
2. Start the bacon in a pan. Make sure it's crispy. I avoid the microwave.
3. Chop the onion, toss it in a bowl with the bread crumbs, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Break up the meat and throw that in as well. Make sure all the flavor elements combine with the meat, and form three patties about a half inch thick.
4. The measurements for the sauce are up to you. I usually rock roughly even parts, mayo and mustard, a healthy dose of garlic, and a splash of marsala. And maybe some black pepper as well.
5. Here's where things get weird. Put the patties in a 9x9 pan, and fill it up with cold water. Give them about 10 seconds to soak, then drop them on the grill. Add a little pat of butter to each side of the patties as they cook. Cook to desired doneness (I give them just a little more time on the grill than I used to, without the water bath, and I haven't over cooked one yet. At 450', I give them about 4 minutes on each side, flipping only once). Don't forget to add the cheese.
6. Pull the patties, cover them with foil, and let them rest for 5 minutes. Drop your muffin buns on the grill for a little toast.
7. A bit of sauce to each bun, patty, bacon, and arugula.

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Reader Comments (33)

hope you got to the burger before the dog did. looks delish.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLainey

I'm definitely going to have to try this discerning manburger. Side note: I'm curious what Brinkmann bbq model you have?

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Looks so fresh and yummy! It's been a while since I've had a good burger.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I think it's extremely cute how seriously you take your cheeseburger business. I'm happy when you're happy, but I'm still going to make you eat salad. Thank you for taking over, looks great.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

I love the dog pictures..I can relate!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

The expression on the dog's face is priceless.

And my husband thanks you in advance for your efforts, Hugh. These look fabulous. And Sara, there will be a salad served alongside. A big one.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertara

Looks delicious. I also love the photo of the dog looking on. Aww!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna

i knew you had a secret to your photography. now i know it. i've forwarded this to my wife, and will be taking over the world by next tuesday.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterken kienow

Hugh! Great job with the post! my mouth is watering just looking at it all. And as always, the photos rock!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin @ Roost

Cheeseburgers are delicious! I can see your dog has the same opinion :)

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNutmeg Nanny

Great post :) Nice of you to take over! Love the photo with your pup. We are on an endless quest for the perfect burger(s) at our house as well... It's a fun hobbby ;)

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRose

I love having burgers on English muffins! They do that at my favorite restaurant in Brooklyn, The Farm on Adderley. I love the photo of the licking flames. Oh, and the pup, of course.

I don't eat meat but the photos are beautiful. And, I have to tell you that I made the tofu salad encrusted with pecans and it came out great. We especially fell in love with your salad dressing. How did you ever come up with that amazing combination of flavors? Fantastic.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEl

Well, I have a lot to say about this one. First, Sara (since you are the blog owner), nice job letting Hugh take over. You're more go-with-the flow than I'll ever be. Second, I was totally prepared to learn how to make tofu burgers, which I actually would have eaten. Third, was Leila the one you had over for lunch, Hugh? And last (finally!) Jeff says these are the BEST burgers he's ever eaten (and he is a foodie, or so he thinks). :)

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMollie

I haven't had meat in six years. A burger never looked so good. May be at last time to introduce it back in to my life.

love the burgers and your pup even more! weimaraner? gorgeous!



November 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterheather

This looks so good, but I wonder, is that english muffin up to the task at hand? A burger that good might need a brioche bun to contain the deliciousness.

November 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

you go, hugh! i love it when my sweetheart takes the lead for a meal every now and again.

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleela

YEA, red meat!!! I can totally appriciate ALL your dishes but I love a good hamburger. Can't wait to try this water trick. Love you guys and love, love love what you both are doing!

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdiane

I'm looking at the photos the same way as the dog is looking at the plate - it looks amazing! I can't resist bacon in a burger.

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

The boys in my home would name the cheeseburger as one of their preferred foods as well. Great job taking over and those photos are fab!

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJan (Mixing Bowl Kids)

Mmmm, the English muffins make it. I'm weak in the knees.

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMadame Fromage

great photos! especially the one of the pup. :)

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdestined to design

You two kill me! wonderful food ideas. and beautifully photographed. what a pair you are.

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersuzanne lonardo

hi hugh! and sara! i, too, could eat a cheeseburger every day. i like how yours is simple and to the point, with lots of garlic! and bacon. oh yes, the bacon. :)

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

Thanks for letting Leila look on.....! Lillie and Annie are jealous!

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

I think the dog wants the burger so badly. I would love toh ave this cheeseburgers.

November 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDivina

I too will take burgers over salads but Sara sure has a way of making me long for her healthy creations.
Nice job covering for Sara.

November 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I love these photos, the colors, the play on perspective, the mood. A perfect moment, and your pup is a beauty. Vizsla?

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Loving your photos. You make me want to run back into the kitchen and whip up one of your recipes.

December 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

This looks husband is a cheeseburger guy so this will definitely be on my list to try!!!

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

this is how you make a burger!

April 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrian

[...] Cheeseburgers [...]

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