Good Morning Gentle Readers,
One sultry Friday night of my vagrant yoot, I was off to Laguna Beach with this dark-haired, dark-eyed Italian chick I fondly referred to as Marblehead. But, the tainted CoCo's bacon cheeseburger I indulged earlier devolved into food poisoning, putting a sour face on a beautiful evening. Vickie figured she was brushed off, and it was downhill from there. Didn't help that she and I were both trying to ditch bad relationships nor that my buddy, Coco's Manager Jim, relentlessly bird dogged that poor girl. She blamed me, but he was a pit bull. I couldn't stop him. She was a sweet girl, I shoulda tried harder.
Long way around the barn to say that I ain't touched a bacon cheeseburger since I was twenty-eight years old. I don't get nauseated at the thought anymore, but, to this day, I can't abide the smell or the taste. Bacon for breakfast? Sure. For cheeseburgers? Ghastly.
- Forget all that crapola about fat, you can't make a decent burger with lean meat. 20% fat content is a minimum. 30% is better. Ground chuck is a good choice. Most of the fat cooks out anyway.
- Make the patties yourself. Don't pound them or squash them. For all that is holy, do not use a patty press. Form them as loosely as possible, just enough kneading to keep them from falling apart. Thinner rather than thicker. Make them about an inch and a half wider than the bun because they will shrink on the grill.
- Cut the raw bacon slices in half, lengthwise. Grill the bacon over the coals. Tricky, but not too difficult. Use tongs to turn. When mostly cooked thru, set them aside.
- Grill the burgers over a hot fire with all vents closed. Otherwise you'll have yourself a visit from the fire marshall when the grease fire starts. Throw some mesquite on the coals if you like. Expect a lot of smoke.
- When it's time to flip the burgers, working quickly, lay the bacon slices across the burger and then the cheese on top (try Tillamook Cheddar slices). If the grease flares up, close the lid and wait. You may have to slip the burgers off the fire and over to a cool side of the grill in order to work the bacon and cheese.
Serve with your favorite accompaniments and enjoy.