Did you just drool a little bit reading the title?  It’s okay, I did that too when I saw this recipe.  I was lying in bed before falling asleep, flipping through an issue of Fine Cooking and the moment I saw this I sat upright and exclaimed, “We have to make these!”  Ben hears these sorts of exclamations frequently but when I read the title out loud, he whole-heartedly agreed.  While Courtney was visiting, I mentioned them to her and we ended up making them for dinner one evening.

The topping is really what drew me to this recipe.  I’m a sucker for anything involving caramelized onions, and using them as a burger topping infused with some bacon and balsamic vinegar is brilliant.  The burger itself is kept simple, just as I like it, with a bit of bacon mixed in to the patties.  Since Gruyere and caramelized(ish) onions are a natural pair, and because I think every burger should be a cheeseburger, I added some when the burgers were finishing up on the grill.  To me this is the perfect time of year for such a meal because it involves flavors you might associate with fall but allows you to take advantage of the dwindling days when it is still warm enough to fire up the grill.  Of course I’m sure these would be wonderful made inside on a grill pan or cast iron pan in the event of a gray and drizzly fall day.  Whether you’re a lover of bacon, burgers, onions, or all three, I’m pretty sure you’ll love these burgers.

And, just because I think it’s pretty great, here’s a shot I took of Andrew “coloring” with Courtney’s iPad.  He loved having her here almost as much as I did.  The morning after she left, the first thing he asked when he woke up was, “Where’s Courtney?”  So cute!


For the topping:

  • 4 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup water

For the burgers:

  • 2 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1½ lbs. ground beef (85% lean)
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Thinly sliced Gruyere cheese (optional)
  • hamburger buns, split


  • 01

    To make the topping, place a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the bacon until lightly browned but not yet crisp, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.  Drain all but 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet.  Add the onion to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook for two minutes.  Uncover the pan, add a splash of water and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

  • 02

    Stir in the vinegar, mustard and water.  Return the bacon to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered until the mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 2-4 minutes.  Transfer to a small bowl and let cool slightly.  Cover and refrigerate if making in advance.

  • 03

    To make the burgers, finely mince the bacon.  Add to a bowl with the ground beef, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Mix well with a fork until evenly combined.  Divide into four equal portions and form into patties about ¾-1 inch thick.

  • 04

    Heat a grill to medium-high heat.  Grill to desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side depending on preference and grill temperature.  When the burgers are almost finished cooking, top with the Gruyere, if using.  Remove the patties to a plate and let rest.  Meanwhile briefly toast the buns on the grill.  Assemble the burgers on the toasted buns and topped with the onion jam.

  • I have to make these for my husband! Beef + bacon + bacon + cheese = one happy guy :).

  • These do sound amazing, I need to try the bacon onion balsamic jam!

    That picture of Andrew is adorable!

  • Your soon is adorable! ;)

    I am a sucker for caramelized onions, too. This burger sounds HEAVENLY!

  • Yeah, I did drool a bit. These look wonderful! Between bacon and balsamic… I’m in!

  • Bacon, caramelizes onions with more bacon AND cheese?! Come to Momma!

  • These look amazing. Who wouldn’t like a jam with bacon in it? Seriously…

  • I loved those burgers. It’s the one reason I still have that issue of F&W :) It sounds like you guys had so much fun, thanks for sharing through the recaps!

  • That topping really does make the whole thing sound scrumptious! I could use one of those right this minute :)

  • I don’t know how I stumbled upon your blog but man am I’m glad I did!

  • Oh wow! Definitely going to have to try these.. That burger looks and sounds absolutely amazing!

  • Oh my gosh Annie you’ve sold me on these. I can not WAIT to make them! We are huge caramelized onion and bacon lovers. Thanks so much!

  • The toppings on these look SERIOUSLY delicious!

  • I can’t imagine how these could get any better. I’m a fan of all the ingredients, from the bacon to the Gruyere. Great burger!

  • I agree, caramelized onions take burgers to the next level. That burger looks like a rock star.

  • WOW! These look fantastic! :)

  • Drool = yes!

  • Why o why don’t I like bacon? :(

  • These are low in calories….right? (cue sound of crickets) :)

  • Great topping for burgers and why not sandwiches! This bacon and onion jam sounds delicious. A must do for my next BBQ burgers. Thanks :)

  • I’m not normally a fan of hamburgers, but this recipe sounds so flavorful that I know I’d like it! This is a definite must the next the guys want to grill burgers.

  • Oh wow, everything about this recipe draws me in! I made a bacon jam a couple years ago that was out of this world, but I never thought to tie it together with a burger! Can’t wait to try this :)

  • Yum! I’m printing this out and adding it to my menu ASAP!

  • These sound delicious!

    This might be a dumb question, but do you cook the bacon before mincing and adding to the burger meat?

  • Annie

    Nope, just mix it in.

  • Everything about these burgers are appealing!! Definitely making these soon.

  • Ooooh….I’m behind on my blog reading, so I was just kinda skimming through my reader. This picture stopped my dead in my tracks, er, scroll. . .

  • Annie, made these this week and they were amazingly delicious! Thanks for sharing the great recipe!

  • Melissa

    I made these the day I saw this post, and my husband and I LOVED them. Thanks for this great recipe – it’s a keeper!

  • Jessica Yeh

    I just made those burgers for my boyfriend and they were so incredibly DECADENT! Thank you so much for the recipe. This page is definitely getting bookmarked for future uses :)

  • Claire

    So good I made these for my family last night they were amazing!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  • Beth

    Thank you so much for sharing…they were AMAZING!!!!!

  • Jen

    Oh goodness…this looks good…but PLEASE…more pictures of your babies! They are SO adorable! (My five month old Larkin Ruth is just a step behind Caroline!)

  • Annie

    Aw, you know I love to show off my sweet babies :) There are actually more pictures coming later this week. Thanks for the compliments on them, I think they are adorable too but I’m clearly biased.

  • Jenn

    I made these my our dinner last night. My husband and I both loved them! I was planning on making something else tonight, but instead, I’m going to be making these again because they were so good! Thanks for a great recipe Annie!

  • Tess

    Hey Annie – I made this for dinner last night and it was A m A z I n G !! I am married to world’s oldest living cave man and he is picky picky. He went on and on how good this was. A definate keeper~~

  • Stephanie

    OMG…..wonderful! I just did the 10 day June Mini Grilling menu this last week….. the whole family loved it! Thank you for a great meal!

  • These were awesome! That jam on top was incredible. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.