The Ol’ Kentucky Bluegrass Burger with Mint Julep Mayo
Mint Julep Mayo:
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
12 slices Hickory-Smoked Bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound country ham, finely chopped in the food processor
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices smoked gouda
6 hamburger buns, split
1 English cucumber, peeled into thin ribbons
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make Mint Julep Mayo, in a small mixing bowl combine mayonnaise, bourbon, sugar, and mint. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate until serving
To make Hickory-Smoked Bacon, place bacon in a large fireproof skillet, and cook on the grill over high heat until the bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes, flipping once. Drain on paper towels.
To make the patties, combine the beef, country ham, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.
Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers with a slice of cheese and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Mint Julep Mayo on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place equal amounts of cucumber ribbons, a cheese-topped patty, and two slices of Hickory Bacon. Add the bun tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.