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Lone Star Brunch Burgers with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Caramelized Texas 1015 Onions

Howdy Burgeristas and Wine Aficionados – my name is Christian, and my passion is cooking (specifically, grilling) for my friends and family. The recipe that I am entering, the Lone Star Brunch Burger with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Caramelized Texas 1015 Onions, is the result of many months of tasting and testing ingredients and layering flavors to find that perfect combination to satisfy a Texas-sized appetite. First, I use a combination of chuck and lean beef which I have freshly ground at the market while I wait (it pays to have a good rapport with the butcher). Next, I use only Applewood smoked bacon for its superior texture and slightly sweet flavor. You can’t go wrong cooking just about anything in bacon drippings, so I use them for the caramelized onions and the eggs. I’ve also found that throwing a few Texas mesquite wood chips on the fire can really give the whole burger extra flavor and richness. To complement these flavors, I use Texas 1015 onions whenever they are available (from mid-April through June). These onions are so distinct because they are literally sweeter than other onions; you see, the horticulturists at Texas A&M University found a way to reduce the amount of pyruvate in Texas 1015 onions (that’s the natural chemical that brings tears to the eyes and sharpness to the tongue). All that remained was the very best of that mild, sweet Texas onion flavor. Of course, my “secret” ingredient for the caramelized onions is Dr. Pepper, originally brewed in (you guessed it - Texas!) Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas in 1885. Finally, the Asiago cheese roll is a little bit of a surprise among all the other “Texas” ingredients, but I discovered them at a bakery in Dallas. These rolls have such a great contrast of flavors – the cheese is slightly sharp while the bread is mellow and buttery. It works wonderfully in correlation to the savory sweetness of the bacon and the onions, and it adds another dimension of balance and flavor that pushes this burger right over the edge from really tasty to downright out of this world! My family loves to sleep in on the weekend and have a big brunch as the main meal of the day; hence the egg on top of the burger. So whether you pair this feast with a glass of Sutter Home Zinfandel wine or a glass of Dr. Pepper (for the kids), this burger is a crowd pleaser every time…friends and family have come from far and wide to savor the delicious Texas treat which is The Lone Star Brunch Burger with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Caramelized Texas 1015 Onions. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we have!


12 slices Applewood Smoked Bacon Caramelized Texas 1015 Onions
1 large Texas 1015 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, freshly minced
1/3 cup original Dr. Pepper (not sugar free)
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground beef (lean)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel wine
3 garlic cloves, freshly minced
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
6 large eggs
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 Asiago cheese rolls
¼ cup softened butter


Directions Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. If available, place mesquite chips on top of the charcoal or briquettes for extra flavor. Place strips of bacon in a 10-inch cast iron skillet for 12-15 minutes, turning as needed while cooking. Remove the skillet from the grill and remove bacon; set aside. Reserve the bacon drippings in the skillet for cooking the caramelized onions and eggs. To make the caramelized onions, combine the onion, Worcestershire sauce, oil, kosher salt, garlic and Dr. Pepper in the cast iron skillet used to cook the bacon and place it on the grill rack. Cook the onion mixture for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the skillet from the grill and set the onion mixture aside; reserve skillet. To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, wine, garlic, ground pepper and seasoned salt. 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. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook 4-5 minutes on each side for medium doneness. Meanwhile, crack 3 eggs at a time into the cast iron skillet which was used for the bacon and caramelized onions and cook over medium (3-4 minutes). Slice the Asiago cheese rolls and spread the buns with the butter. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, buttered side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom, place a patty, 2 slices of bacon, an equal portion of the caramelized onions, and top it off with an egg. Add the roll tops, serve immediately and enjoy!! Makes 6 burgers


Be sure to use an oven mitt when taking the cast iron skillet on and off the grill - the handle will be as hot as the rest of the skillet. To ensure that the patties do not char on the outside and remain too red in the center, you might consider bringing them to room temperature before grilling; thus, the outside will have a seared surface while the core is pink, juicy and tender. Enjoy!!!!