BBQ Patty Melt Burger

prepared by and photo by Emily S. Downs

The recipe calls for cooking the burgers on a griddle or frying pan, but I also recommend grilling.  The griddle/pan method keeps the burgers juicy, although warmer weather stirs the grill master in us all.  These burgers are simply to-die-for… no joke.

Size: 4 servings

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup Frank's RedHot Sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Eight 1/2" thick slices of firm white bread
8 slices of thick-cut bacon
2 lbs ground beef chuck (20% fat), formed into 4 patties the same size as the bread slices
3 oz smoked Gouda, shredded (1 cup)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup apple juice
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp unsulfured molasses


BURGERS:  In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the onion is crisp-tender and just turning translucent, 5 minutes.  Stir in the hot sauce and beef broth and remove from the heat.  Season with salt.

Heat a large griddle or pan.  Spread the butter on 1 side of each bread slice and griddle/fry buttered side down over moderate heat until toasted, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the toasts to a plate.  Add the bacon to the griddle/pan and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 4 minutes per side; drain on paper towels.  Wipe off the griddle/pan.

Season the beef patties, with salt and cook on the griddle/pan over moderately high heat until medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side.  Top each burger with 1/4 cup of smoked Gouda and cook until the cheese melts, 1 minute.

Set the burgers on the unbuttered sides of 4 toasts.  Top with the bacon, onion and Sweet BBQ Sauce.  Close the burgers and serve, passing more barbecue sauce at the table.  (The onion can be refrigerated overnight and reheated gently before serving.)

SWEET BBQ SAUCE:  In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt.  Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until richly browned, about 20 minutes.  Add the butter and melt.  Add the ketchup, brown sugar, apple juice, lemon juice, ginger and molasses.  Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 20 minutes.  Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree.  Season with salt.  (The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.)

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Author: Emily Sarah Downs

Cuisine Coordinator, Tips From Town, Ridgewood, NJ


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