Pimento Cheeseburgers with Bacon Jam

“This is like a bacon cheeseburger that went to heaven,” says chef Edward Lee, of Whiskey Dry in Louisville. The pimento cheese and sweet bacon jam both melt into one dreamy, messy bite—this is not a burger for the faint of heart (quite literally). Save any leftover spreads for an out-of-this-world grilled cheese sandwich.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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bacon jam:
  • 1/4 pound slab bacon, finely diced (1/3 cup)

  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
pimento cheese
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded 
(1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 ounce cream cheese 
(2 tablespoons), at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup drained and chopped jarred pimientos 

  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated

  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck, preferably 20% fat

  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 4 potato rolls, split and toasted

  • Sliced dill pickles and thinly sliced scallions, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the bacon jam In 
a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet. Add the onion and cook over 
moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 
4 minutes. Return the bacon to the skillet along with the coffee, soy sauce, vinegar and both sugars. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the liquid 
is reduced and the jam is thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the bacon jam into 
a small bowl and let cool to room temperature. 

  2. Meanwhile, make the pimento cheese In 
a medium bowl, combine 
all of the ingredients. 

  3. Make the burgers Form the beef into four ¾-inch-thick 
patties and season with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron 
skillet set on the grate of a preheated grill or on the stovetop, heat the oil. Cook the burgers over moderate heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook, 
covered, until browned and medium-rare, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a work surface 
and let rest for 5 minutes.

  4. Place a burger on each roll bottom. Top with some of 
the pimento cheese, bacon jam, sliced pickles and scallions. Close the burgers and serve.

Make Ahead

The spreads can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Abby Hocking Published June 2017

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