Sweet & Spicy Sausage Burgers


1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground hot Italian pork sausage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

12 thick slices of peppered bacon
vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 onion rolls, split
6 slices sharp cheddar cheese
6 red leaf lettuce leaves
1 medium red onion, sliced
6 tablespoons ready-made vanilla frosting



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the ground pork, hot Italian pork sausage, basil, parsley, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avert compacting it, mix well. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the rolls. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

Place the bacon slices in a large cast iron or fire-proof skillet and cook on the grill rack until crispy. Place bacon slices on absorbent paper to drain. When bacon is cool enough to touch, cut each slice in half to yield a total of 24 slices.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, carefully turning once, just until the juices run clear when the patties are pierced in the center, about six minutes on each side. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the onion rolls, cut side down, around the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. Top each patty with a slice of cheese and allow to melt slightly.

To assemble the burgers, place a lettuce leave on each roll bottom followed by a patty, an equal portion of the red onion slices, and four slices of bacon. Spread one tablespoon of frosting on the cut side of each roll top. Add the roll top to the burger and serve.