Gay Cook’s Beef Burgers with Onions, Bacon and Pesto

GayOur warm summer is the time for barbecued burgers. The meat choice can be either ground beef or lamb with 20% fat, which is the secret for tender juicy burgers. Your butcher can help you with the quantity of fat in the meat.

 

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Serves 4 or 5

  • 1½ lbs (680g) ground chuck with 20% fat
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt & ½ tsp (2 ml) ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 bacon slices
  • 1 sweet onion, finely sliced or chopped
  • 4 or 5 hamburger buns, split crosswise with pesto
  • Parsley or basil pesto* for spreading on bun halves

1. Mix the ground chuck with salt and pepper. Firmly form into 4 or 5 balls of equal size then press into patties, ¾- to ½-inch thickness depending on size of family or friends. Keep the patties chilled until ready to grill.

2. In heavy medium pan over medium heat fry the bacon until crisp turning several times. Cut slices in half. Transfer bacon to paper towel to drain fat and keep bacon warm in the oven.

3. With bacon fat still in the pan, fry the onions on medium heat until soft and slightly browned. Keep the onions warm until ready to serve.

4. Make the pesto; brush on inside of buns. Set aside. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Grill the patties with lid closed if desired until medium doneness about 10 tp 12 minutes, turning once only. If desired gently press with the end of your finger to check the colour of the juices. If juice is pink, cook burgers a few more minutes, but if juice is clear, the meat is cooked. Keep meat warm or place on bun.

Build each burger on a bun with onions and bacon slices. Serve warm.

To make pesto:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) packed parsley leaves, stems removed
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
  • 6 tbsp (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) salt

In blender or food processor add parsley, garlic and nuts. Process until well chopped then begin to drizzle in oil until smooth paste forms. Season to taste with salt.

Heat the grill for direst cooking over medium-high heat about 375°F or 160°C.

*Parsley or Pesto

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) pinenuts, walnuts or slivered almonds
  • 1 cup (250 ml) packed parsley or basil leaves, no stems
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 tbsp (75 ml) extra virgin oil
  • ½ (2 ml) salt or to taste

Chop the nuts, parsley and garlic in a blender or food processor. Drizzle in the oil until smooth paste is formed. Season to taste.