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The BEST All-American Burger

I have been creating and making my husband sample so many different and unique hamburger recipes in preparation for this contest, that he finally told me over this past weekend that he was tired of my “crazy hamburger ideas” and if I wanted him to take even one more bite of a burger, that it was going to have to be just a “normal” all American burger or he no longer wanted to act as my resident taste tester. As a result, I came up with this recipe. Even though it is a slight departure from the typical burger (I didn’t tell him about the mik/bread mash) he loved it! Thank goodness, because I think I might still have another recipe or two that I want him to try......


For the Sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1⁄3 cup mustard
1⁄3 cup dill relish
For the Patties
2 ½ slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed and bread cut into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves of garlic, very finely minced
1 ½ teaspoon salt
cracked black pepper
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced into 6 rounds
12 strips of bacon
12 slices American cheese
6 hamburger buns
vegetable oil for the grill


FOR THE SAUCE: Combine ketchup, mustard, and relish in and a small mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. Chill of possible. FOR THE GRILLED VIDALIA ONION: Prepare grill to medium high heat and brush with vegetable oil. Brush the onion rounds with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill rounds until browed and carmelized about 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove from grill, place in foil to keep warm. FOR THE BACON: Using a fire-proof skillet, cook 12 bacon strips on the grill. Cook until crisp and remove from pan. Take remaining bacon fat and pour into a heat proof bowl. Set aside. FOR THE PATTIES: Place bread in small bowl, add milk, and let mixture sit until saturated, about 5 minutes. Using a fork, mash bread and milk until it forms smooth paste. Break up beef into small pieces in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then add garlic, bread paste, and 3 ½ tablespoons of reserved bacon fat, or whatever amount was rendered from cooking the bacon. Lightly knead the mixture together so that ingredients are well incorporated and mixture forms cohesive mass. Divide meat into six equal portions and shape into patties. FOR GRILLING: Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Place patties on the rack and cover the grill. Cook burgers to desired doneness, turning them once, about 4-6 minutes on each side for medium-rare to medium. If desired, during the last few minutes of cooking, place the hamburger buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. Immediately after removing the burgers from the grill place 2 slices of American cheese on top of each burger. ASSEMBLING THE BUGER: Place cheese topped burger on the bottom half of the hamburger bun. Generously and evenly spread sauce on the other half of the hamburger bun. Layer grilled Vidalia onion and bacon on top of burger and combine the two halves.