Savory Scallion Burgers with Spicy Bacon Jam and Cool Cucumber Sauce

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

I wanted a burger that would be delicious whether cooked medium or a bit beyond and to add bacon and tomato in a different way. The cucumber sauce is a variation of tzatziki,which is great with all kinds of grilled meats and poultry.


Spicy Bacon Jam
6 slices (about 6 ounces) artisanal bacon such as Nueskes (available at chain grocers like Fresh Market), sliced crosswise into ¾-1 inches pieces
6 green onions (white part) minced
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles –mild – drained and as much liquid pressed out as possible (if you like especially hot chiles, choose hot variety Rotels)
1 tablespoon organic honey, preferably raw
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 ½ lbs. 90/10 lean ground sirloin
½ lb. ground pork
3 green onions (green part) minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 bakery-style sesame seed buns or Kaiser rolls
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Cool Cucumber Sauce
¾ cup whole milk, organic Greek yogurt, preferably imported
1 medium organic cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (seeded if very seedy)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably Greek or Spanish
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
3 green onions (green part) very thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper


Start by making the Bacon Jam.

In a grill-proof 12-inch skillet (cast iron is ideal) over high heat, cook bacon until almost done about 7-10 minutes. Move skillet back and forth over the heat if necessary to keep from burning. Remove bacon and drain on paper-towel-lined plate. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings. Add minced green onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until starting to thicken and most of liquid is evaporated (5-7 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Remove from heat; set aside; allow to cool.

Cool Cucumber Sauce
Combine all ingredients gently but thoroughly (a wide silicone spoonula works very well)

For burgers, combine all ingredients except buns and butter. Mix thoroughly and divide into 6 portions, shape into 3/4 inch patties. Cook over medium high heat 5-6 minutes per side.

While burgers are cooking, slice buns, spread each with about a teaspoon of butter and grill until golden brown and crispy.

To assemble burgers, spread a layer of cucumber sauce on bottom half of bun. Top with burger. Top burger with bacon jam and top all with top half of bun.