Bacon-Stuffed Burgers with Pimento Cheese and Avocado
Rich bacon, creamy cheese, fresh avocado, a kick of spice- this burger has everything. Best enjoyed on a hot day with a glass of cold Sparkling Red.
2 slices bacon, diced
1 large white onion, halved and sliced paper-thin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, plus extra
3 ounces cream cheese, soft or room temperature
4 ounces cheddar cheese
1 large jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon (about 3 slices) chopped pickled jalapeno
1 tablespoon chopped pimentos
1 1/4 pound ground beef (with at least 16% fat)
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 Dutch crunch or other sturdy buns, halved lengthwise
1 large avocado, diced
Put the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the bacon is browned and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Discard the drippings.
Slice the onion and put it into a narrow bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cheddar cheese.
Add the fresh and pickled jalapeno to the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Add the pimentos and pinch of cayenne. Pulse until thoroughly combined.
Divide the ground beef into 8 equal portions and shape into 1/4-inch-thick patties. Use the bottom of a small bowl or plate to mark a spot for the stuffing. Divide the bacon among four of the patties. Top each with one of the remaining patties and press the edges together to seal.
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
Put the buns on the grill, cut-side down. Cook until toasted, about 1 minute, moving as needed to prevent burning.
Transfer to a cutting board and mash one-quarter of the avocado on top of the mayo on each roll. Top with a small handful of the lettuce mix and a scoop of the onions.
Spread the top of each roll with equal amounts of the pimento cheese. (You may want to use less than the entire recipe. Any leftover can be refrigerated for up to one week.)
Season the patties with salt and pepper and put on the grill. Cook, covered, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Divide among the rolls. Arrange the top half of the buns over each burger. Serve immediately.