The Apple Cheddar-Meat and Potatoes Burger with Bacon
This is a great local American burger because it incorporates many of the great products specific to the Midwest, and is a hearty burger that fits the food culture of the region.Michigan is a top producer of apples, and is the country’s leading producer of Jonathan Apples which are used in the recipe. Wisconsin is the nation’s top producer of cheese, and cheddar cheese is arguably the most popular and well known cheese the state produces. Iowa and Illinois are leading producers of pork in the country, and the bacon in the recipe is a tribute to that, and also provides a nice salty contrast to the sweetness of the apples. The potatoes that are incorporated into the burger patties, pays homage to the Midwest being a traditional meat and potatoes culture, where good simple hearty food is most valued. My burger is the ultimate Midwestern burger as it features the great products that the region is known for and is a wholesome and filling burger that all Americans can enjoy.
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into one fourth of an inch dice
4 and a half Jonathan apples, peeled and cut into one eighth of an inch slices
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 and a half teaspoons cinnamon
5 and a half teaspoons salt
4 and one fourth teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 and one fourth teaspoons all purpose flour
9 strips bacon
36 ounces of ground beef, 80 percent lean to 20 percent fat
3 teaspoons ground cumin
6 slices of sharp Wisconsin cheddar cheese
6 Kaiser rolls sliced in half
Place the diced potatoes in a pot with enough water to come up to near the top of the pot (about 2 inches from the top); place the pot on the grill over high heat and cook the potatoes until fork tender (about 6-8 minutes); remove the pot from the grill and strain the water from the potatoes and set potatoes to the side in a bowl.
Place a large skillet on the grill over medium-high heat and melt 4 and a half tablespoons of unsalted butter; add all of the sliced apples and cinnamon, 2 and a half teaspoons of salt, and 1 and one fourth teaspoons of pepper, and cook until apples just begin to become fork tender (about 5-7 minutes); add all of the all purpose flour and stir into the apples well, then add the cup of apple juice concentrate, and cook until the apple juice concentrate has reduced down to a syrup (about 5-8 minutes); remove from the grill and set aside
Place the strips of bacon in a large skillet or cookie sheet, and then place onto grill over medium-high heat; cook until crispy, but not burnt (about 6-10 minutes) and then remove from grill and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground beef, 1 and one third of a cup of the cooked diced potatoes, 3 teaspoons of salt, 3 teaspoons of pepper, and 3 teaspoons of cumin; form into 6 ounce patties; place the patties on the grill over medium high heat and cook covered (with the top closed) for 5 minutes on the first side and then flip; cook covered for another 3 minutes on the other side and then add a slice of cheese to each patty and cook covered for another minute until cheese is melted (four minutes total cooking time on the second side); remove the patties from the grill and set aside on a plate.
Place each half of the sliced Kaiser rolls cut side down on the grill over medium heat, and cover for about 1 minute or until they are lightly toasted, and then remove; take the remaining 1 and a half tablespoons of butter and butter each side of the rolls.
To construct the burgers: place 1 and a half strips of bacon on the bottom of each roll (cut the bacon strips to fit nicely on the bun), add the burger patty, take the apple mixture and spoon a nice thick layer over each patty (distribute the apple mixture evenly), and then top with the top of the roll. ENJOY!