Bacon Blue Burger

if you're looking for a great gourmet burger recipe, this one is for you! It's a flavorful burger with melted blue cheese and bacon jam, topped with homemade crispy shallots. This could be the the most mouthwatering burger you ever make at home.

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The Best Gourmet Burger

What makes a burger a gourmet burger? Well, it starts with a great burger patty made with the right ground beef and seasoned perfectly. Then, you dress that perfect patty up with a few extra special touches. This Bacon Blue Burger definitely fits the bill of gourmet burger. Its base is a delicately shaped patty made with 80% lean ground beef, grated onion, parsley, salt and pepper that is topped with bacon jam, blue cheese, arugula and some crispy fried shallots. If that doesn’t say “gourmet burger”, I don’t know what does. 

Ingredients on a blue counter - ground beef, salt, pepper, brioche buns, blue cheese, arugula, bacon jam, crispy shallots, parsley and grated onion.

Perfect Burger Patty

Sometimes we tend to think that lean is better, and with many things it might just be. But with burgers the leanest ground beef is not what makes the best burger patty. Ideally, you want to use 80% lean ground beef for burgers. Ground beef that is 80% lean has 20% fat, and although that might sound like a lot, the fat renders out when you cook the burger and you’re left with a burger patty that is more moist and tender than one that has only 10% or (gasp!) 5% fat. Season the patty with salt and pepper and add the grated onion and parsley. Work these seasonings into the beef gently – really gently. Then, shape your burger patty with a divot in the middle. Learn all about how to make a burger patty here

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Crispy shallots on parchment paper.

How to Make Crispy Shallots 

Crispy shallots do take a little extra effort, but they make this bacon blue burger something really special. In all honesty, they are not difficult to make. Slice the shallots very thinly, toss them in a zipper sealable plastic bag with flour, cornstarch, paprika and salt and then fry them in just a little oil for about 3 minutes. Remove them, dry them on a paper towel and season again with salt. I use the same paper towel to sop up the leftover oil in the pan and then discard the paper towel. That way, you’re not pouring any oil down your sink. 

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A jar of bacon jam with a cheese board in the background.

Bacon Jam

Now we’re getting into the gourmet part of this bacon blue burger. Bacon jam is something you will want to make ahead of time. Of course, if you don’t have the time you could substitute plain old bacon on this burger, but you won’t get the sweet-salty deliciousness of this savory spread. Plus, you’ll have leftover bacon jam if you make a full batch (see recipe here) and you can spread it on so many other delicious foods (like steak, grilled chicken, a grilled cheese sandwich, mashed potatoes…).

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Two burger patties on brown parchment paper.

How to Shape Burger Patties

The important thing to remember when you’re shaping burger patties is to be gentle. You don’t want to over-pack the meat because first of all, that is just mean, and secondly it makes your burger tough. If you see gaps of air in the shaped patties, that’s a good thing. If I’m shaping burger patties (as opposed to making a smashburger), I toss the meat back and forth from one had to another to press the meat together. I don’t squeeze and smush the meat. You can see a video of how to do that here

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A bacon blue burger being assembled - burger on bun with a jar of bacon jam and a bowl of crispy shallots.

How to Layer Toppings on a Burger

Then, it’s all about putting the burger together. Toast your burger buns. It makes a difference and takes no time at all. In fact, the time it takes to toast the buns will force you to let the burger patty rest, which is also important. Then, spread a little mayo on the bottom bun and top with arugula. The mayo will help the arugula stick to the bun. THEN put the patty on top. That anchors the greens so they can’t get away. You can also put the bacon jam on the bottom of the burger if you like, but I like it right next to the blue cheese that is melted on top. As for the crispy onions – they can go on top of the bacon jam OR put them on the side of your plate and eat them like mini onion rings (which would also be a delicious accompaniment to this burger if you have the time). 

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An assembled bacon blue burger on an oval white plate.

What to Serve with a Burger

I’m sure I don’t need to even write anything here. No-one needs advice on what to eat with a burger, but I’ll give it anyway. In addition to air-fried onion rings, you could make your own homemade French fries or serve some potato salad with this bacon blue burger. I find the burger quite rich, however, and prefer a simple green salad with a light vinaigrette. While I often enjoy a beer  with a burger, this burger also lends itself quite nicely to a glass of full-bodied red wine. I wouldn’t turn down either!

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A bacon blue burger with a side of pickles and a glass of beer.

Featured Recipe Techniques

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Bacon Jam & Blue Burger with Crispy Shallots 

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 20 m
  • Servings:
    2

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces ground beef 80/20
  • 1 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces blue cheese
  • cup bacon jam See Recipe
  • ¾ cup arugula
  • 2 hearty hamburger rolls such as Kaiser brioche or ciabatta
  • 1 tablespoon butter optional
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise optional
Crispy Shallots:
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. To make the crispy shallots, combine the cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a zipper sealable plastic bag. Add the shallots to the bag, seal and shake the bag to coat the shallots evenly.

  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a thin layer of oil to the pan and let it heat for a minute. Drop one of the shallots into the oil - if small bubbles form the oil is ready. (You can also test the oil with the handle of a wooden spoon.) Working in two batches, drop the shallots in a single layer into the oil. Fry the shallots until they are golden brown, flipping them over as necessary. Drain the shallots on a paper towel-lined plate and set them aside. (Try not to eat them before the burgers are done!)

  3. Combine the ground beef, grated onion, parsley and salt in a bowl. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Gently form the mixture into 2 balls and then shape the balls into patties. Using your fingers, make a slight indentation in the center of the patties so the burgers cook evenly and flat, but try not to overwork the meat.

  4. Pre-heat a skillet, grill or air fryer to high heat. Cook the burgers on each side for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on how well you would like your burgers cooked. Top the burgers with some blue cheese and cook for another minute, until the cheese melts. Remove the pan from the heat.

  5. While the burgers are resting, spread butter or oil on the cut side of the buns and toast them in the skillet, grill or air fryer until they are lightly browned.

  6. Spread some mayonnaise on the bottom half of the buns and top with arugula. Place the burgers on top and dollop a couple spoonfuls of Bacon Jam on top of the blue cheese. Top with the crispy shallots and the top bun. Dig in to this mouthwatering burger immediately!

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