Rocky Mountain Spinach Salad Burger
6 slices of thick sliced uncured hickory smoked bacon
Â½ cup apple cider vinegar
Â½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Â¼ teaspoon salt
Â¼ teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
1 Â½ teaspoon salt
Â½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (removed from stems)
3 cups prewashed baby spinach leaves
Â½ red onion, thinly sliced
6 whole grain hamburger buns
Preheat the left burners on a gas grill to high and right burners to medium. (If you can’t separate, preheat all burners to high.) Set eggs in an enamel covered cast iron pan, cover with at least an inch of cool water, and place on the high heat side of the grill. After the eggs come to a rolling boil, remove the eggs from the heat and set aside in the water. Leave for at least 18 minutes, then remove the peel and slice into 6 slices each. Cover and set aside
While eggs are coming to a boil, fry the bacon crisp in a cast iron skillet on the medium heat side of the grill. (If necessary to use high heat, lift pan up frequently and turn more often, taking care not to burn.) Drain bacon on paper towel. Pour fat out of the skillet, wipe clean and then return 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings to the skillet. Set remaining drippings aside.
Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, Â¼ teaspoon salt, and liquid smoke. Pour the vinegar mixture into the skillet with the bacon drippings and bring to a boil until mixture thickens slightly, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with foil and set aside.
Adjust both sides of the grill to medium-high heat.
Combine beef with salt, pepper and thyme. Be careful not to over mix. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape into patties about an inch thick.
Brush grill with remaining bacon drippings. Place patties on grill and brown on one side (5-6 minutes), turn and cook to desired level of done (about 5 to 6 minutes more for medium). During the last two minutes of cooking, place cut side of bun down on sides of grill to toast lightly.
To assemble burgers, place slice of bacon broken in half on bottom bun, pile on spinach, follow with burger, drizzle liberally with hot bacon vinaigrette, then a slice of red onion and fan 3 slices of egg on top. Top with remaining half of bun.