You know that song, “You were always on my mind”? That’s how I feel about these Breakfast Burgers with Bourbon Bacon Jam.
I’ve been wanting to make a breakfast burger for a looooong time. I first planned to make one last fall, but other recipes kept replacing it in the queue. Weeks turned into months, and the poor breakfast burger wallowed in my drafts folder as That Good Salad and Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, and Cottage Cheese Lasagna all received their time in the spotlight.
“If I made you feel second best
Girl, I’m sorry I was blind
But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind”
Oh, sweet, patient breakfast burger. It may have taken longer than expected, but I never stopped dreaming of you. And luckily, all that dreaming and waiting led to a marvelous breakfast discovery: Bourbon Bacon Jam. I knew when I started planning a breakfast burger that bacon had to be involved, but I didn’t quite know how I wanted to incorporate it. No one’s going to complain about two plain slices of bacon on a burger, but I was looking for something that would add a little more flavor and interest to the burger. Something that would complement and enhance the savory elements of the burger without overpowering it.
Enter: honey. Honey is one of the most used ingredients in my cabinets. It’s versatile, has an extended shelf life, and makes a great substitute for other sweeteners in baking, dressing and marinades. I use it in savory and sweet recipes, for breakfast, dinner, or dessert. I love Honey Green Beans, and this Asian Honey Sesame Beef is a testament to the wonderful things that can happen when meat and honey get together. It’s a wonder I never thought to combine honey and bacon before. I mean, what could be better than bringing the bold, smoky flavor of bacon and the sweet, sultry flavor of honey together?
Well, I guess one thing could be better, and that’s adding bourbon to the mix. Guys, this jam is something else. Crisp cooked bacon and caramelized onions are reduced with bourbon, honey, and balsamic until a rich, thick, jam forms. I like to add a pinch of cayenne so all the flavors are covered–sweet, salty, tangy, and a tad spicy, all in one perfectly spreadable condiment. I could eat this stuff by the spoonful.
The first time my husband tried the jam, he promptly informed me I’d grossly underestimated the amount we needed. This stuff was going to be put on all.the.things. Grilled chicken. Toast. Crackers and cheese. Salmon. And most importantly, this epic breakfast burger.
Once the jam is made this burger comes together in a jiffy. I keep my burger patties simple, with just a hint of salt and worcestershire. I like to fry them up in a cast iron skillet if it’s too cold to grill. The patties are topped with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese (melted of course), a generous spoonful of bourbon bacon jam, and a fried egg sandwiched between a buttery toasted English muffin.
I could take some time to describe to you just how amazing this burger tastes, but I’m pretty sure you’re already doing a great job imagining it. Instead, I’ll give you some sage advice, gleaned through experience. Don’t waste another minute not having this Breakfast Burger in your life. After all, you wouldn’t want to have to write a sad song about it someday.
- 1½ pounds applewood smoked bacon, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 small yellow onions
- ½ cup bourbon
- ½ cup honey
- 1½ Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon worcestershire
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 4 eggs
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 English muffins, toasted and buttered if desired
- In a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, cook the bacon over medium high heat, until the fat starts to foam and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate and then drain the fat through a colander into a bowl.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of the fat back into the pan along with the butter. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until softened and starting to caramelize.
- Add the bourbon and honey to the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the vinegar and boil for another minute. Add the bacon back into the pot, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for another 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thick and dark. Season with additional salt and cayenne pepper, if desired. Store in the fridge until ready to eat. Microwave briefly before serving.
- Using your fingers, gently mix the salt and worcestershire into the ground beef. Form into four patties and place a small thumbprint in the center of each one. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and melt a little oil or butter of your choice in the pan. Add the patties to the pan and cook until seared on the bottom. Flip and continue to cook until patties are cooked through, adding a slice of cheese and covering the pan for the last two minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Fry each of the eggs in a teaspoon of butter to your liking. (We prefer to cook over medium heat until the whites are almost set, then flip and cook for one additional minute for a nice, yolky over easy egg).
- To assemble, place the burgers on the English muffins and top with a generous amount of bacon jam. Place an egg on each burger and top with the other half of the muffin. Enjoy this meaty breakfast feast!
This post is sponsored by the National Honey Board. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and products that help keep NeighborFood afloat!