Bacon Beer-Cheeseburgers with Maple-Glazed Bacon and Apples
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
1/4 cup white onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup lager (I used Brooklyn Lager, but use the one of your choice)
12 slices of bacon
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1 pound freshly ground chuck
1 pound freshly ground brisket
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing the burgers and buns
6 pretzel buns, split
3 large granny smith apples
Preheat a gas grill to medium-low.
To make the bacon, add to a large fire-proof skillet in a single layer and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until crisp. Remove the cooked bacon from the skillet and brush a thin layer of the maple syrup onto each side of the bacon. Set aside.
To make the beer cheese, first pour the beer into a glass and wait for the foam to settle. Then, combine the grated cheese, onion, garlic, hot sauce, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, and cayenne in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the beer and puree until smooth. Set aside.
To make the patties, gently mix together the ground chuck, ground brisket, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Form six even-sized patties. Brush the burgers with a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and pepper on both sides and gently press your thumb into the middle of each patty (this will make it so the burgers don’t bulge up in the middle as they cook).
Increase the heat on the grill to medium-high. When the grill is heated, add the patties to the rack. Cook for a total of 5-7 minutes on each side for medium, turning only once. Add a small amount of the beer cheese on top of each burger during the last minute of cooking (but too much because you don’t want to overpower the meat!). Make sure to remove the patties from the grill before the cheese drips down the side of the patties.
As the burgers are cooking, brush a little bit of olive oil onto each pretzel bun half and grill for a couple of minutes, or until the buns have grill marks.
Meanwhile, core the apples and cut into 1/4 inch slices. If you are slicing them more than a few minutes ahead of time, drizzle some lemon juice over the apples so they don’t brown.
To assemble the burgers, place a 2 or 3 apple slices on the bottom halves of the buns. Place the patties on top of the apples. Top each burger with two slices of the bacon and the top halves of the buns. Enjoy with an ice-cold beer!