RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Bluegrass Benedictine Bourbon Burger


1 large cucumber
1 cup onion
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash green food coloring
2 medium onions
4 tablespoons of butter
1 pound of maple-cured bacon
3 pounds of 80/20 Hamburger
6 tablespoons of Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
6 King's Hawaiian Sweet Roll Hamburger Buns


Light charcoal and while coals are being prepared, begin making Benedictine spread.
To make Benedictine, peel cucumber and wrap in paper towels and squeeze out excess juice. Finely chop cucumber by hand and dry on paper towel. Using a small food processor, finely chop the onion. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, cucumber, onion, salt, cayenne pepper and food coloring. Mix well until a smooth and spreadable texture. Refrigerate until ready to dress hamburgers. The process of making Benedictine takes about 15 minutes.
Coals have now warmed for 15 minutes. In large skillet on the grill, place one pound of bacon. Cook until crisp. When bacon is finished cooking, drain on parchment paper. The process for making bacon takes about 20 minutes.
Slice two medium onions and place in aluminum foil with four tablespoons of butter. Wrap and seal aluminum foil into a packet. This step takes approximately 5 minutes.
Prepare burgers by shaping into 1/2 pound patties. Rub with sea salt and pepper. This step takes approximately 5 minutes.
Place burgers on the grill. At the same time, place foil packet with onions on the grill.
Sear burgers on one side for 30 seconds; sear on second side for 30 seconds. Cook burgers on one side for approximately 10 minutes; flip burgers, cooking on second side for approximately 10 minutes; checking for medium well doneness.
As burgers near finishing, butter buns and place them butter side down on the grill until lightly browned. This step takes approximately three minutes. Remove buns from grill and set open-faced on plates.
Remove burgers from grill and place on buns. Remove onions from grill.

Top burgers with Benedictine spread; then top spread with 3 slices of bacon per burger. Place grilled onions on top of bacon and top with bun. Plating of 6 burgers takes approximately 10 minutes.
The entire process for making Bluegrass Benedictine Bourbon Burgers takes approximately one hour, 20 minutes.


Benedictine is a Louisville, Kentucky original. Jennie Benedict, a Louisville caterer and restaurant owner, created Benedictine spread before the turn of the century. I grew up enjoying this famous green spread on white bread with bacon or on mini rye bread slices at wedding and baby showers throughout my life. I still order it whenever I am out at the small, local sandwich shops around town who still serve it. It is hard to find it outside of our area and when we tell people from other states about it, they look at us like we are crazy. Benedictine is a hometown original that has stayed pretty close to home.

Another product that Kentucky is famous for producing has not remained a hometown secret. Kentucky is known the world over for its bourbon. And, we embrace this hometown product with particular zeal. We have a collection of special bourbons and have traveled through the state to our favorite distilleries to see how our favorite product is made and to meet the master distillers. We have tried all types of food products made with Kentucky bourbon from bourbon candy to barbecue sauces. Bourbon Barrel Foods is a local company who has capitalized on this local product; they are makers of gourmet food products that reflect the rich heritage of Kentucky's Bourbon Country. We particularly like to use their Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt as we grill our burgers – it gives them a delicious smoky flavor along with that delicious hint of Kentucky bourbon. It is sold at Whole Foods in our community and hope it has made its way to California.

Thanks to these two flavors – Benedictine and Bourbon – this burger is truly a Kentucky original and represents our region. Not to mention it tastes awesome!

And, hey, we love wine, but if we had to pick an alcoholic beverage to go with this burger, we would probably say bourbon lemonade. And, no offense Sutter Homes, but we chose Fetzer because it is a Brown-Forman wine and the corporate headquarters is in Louisville. I work for the Chamber of Commerce and might get in trouble if I was caught claiming another wine was my favorite. :-)