Bacon Cheeseburgers with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce

This splurge of a burger is what Jamie calls a "full orchestra of flavors" -- gooey cheddar, crisp bacon, and a killer (but easy!) sauce that's sweet, smoky, and tangy.

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  • Makes: 4 servings
  • Hands On: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins

Bacon Cheeseburgers with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce

Directions

  1. Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a heavy medium saucepan warm the oil over medium heat. Add the bacon strips and cook until browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool, leaving the drippings in the pan.
  3. Add the onion to the saucepan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until soft and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bourbon, increase the heat to medium-high, and boil to reduce slightly, about 1 minute. Add the next eight ingredients (through the hot pepper sauce) and bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture thickens and is reduced to about 2 cups, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked bacon. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, in a skillet cook the 8 bacon slices over medium heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
  5. Mix the ground chuck, salt, and pepper and gently form four patties of equal size, each about 3/4-inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of the patties to prevent them from forming a dome as they cook. Chill until ready to grill.
  6. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F). Drain and add the wood chips to the charcoal or to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer's directions, and close the lid. When smoke appears, grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness (160 degrees F), 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. During the last minute of grilling time, place one-fourth of the cheese on each patty to melt, and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat.
  7. Build each burger on a bun with lettuce, tomato, bacon slices, and sauce.

From the Test Kitchen

Basic Burger:

Prepare as above, except omit sauce, bacon, and cheese. Serve burger in bun with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and sliced red onion. Nutrition facts per serving: 589 cal; 38g total fat (14g sat fat); 122mg chol; 842mg sodium; 24g carb; 2g fiber; 5 g sugar; 34g pro

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Nutrition Facts (Bacon Cheeseburgers with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce)

  • Per serving:
  • 1010 kcal ,
  • 61 g fat
  • (23 g sat. fat ,
  • 6 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 24 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 177 mg chol. ,
  • 2152 mg sodium ,
  • 57 g carb. ,
  • 2 g fiber ,
  • 31 g sugar ,
  • 49 g pro.
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