Bacon Chili Cheese Burgers

Categories: Main Course, Recipes, West
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Comments: 3 Comments
Published on: October 2, 2011

I love a good burger, but it has to be a good one.  By that I mean using real mince, not the sand blasted beef bone stuff.  It has to have some quality cheese, processed slices just won’t do!  But above all it can’t have any beef tomato in it.  Nothing ruins a burger more than a slice of beef tomato.  It’s so bad, that everytime a “chef” puts a beef tomato in a burger, I feel a disturbance in the force.

I love tomatoes, but beef tomatoes are the button mushroom of the tomato world.  Watery, tasteless and ubiquitous.  They are the reason why so many people hate tomatoes and mushrooms.  They have to be the worst examples of their respective vegetables, yet they are the most common types found in cooking.  Why?  What possess someone to use such an awful ingredient?  Do they not taste their own food or are they just sadistic?  It’s like the coffee chocolate in a selection box.  Nobody wants it, except great-aunt Beatrice with her impaired sense of taste and smell.  She will no doubt tell you that it’s good for you, which is usually code for “it tastes awful”.  The only other time they get eaten is when that poor unsuspecting guest gets offered it, and then they have to do their best to hide their face of disgust while you try not to laugh at them.

If you want an idea of what my face looks like when I bite into a burger containing a beef tomato, picture this… You are tucking in to a nice plate of delicious juicy steak.  Only after you’ve eaten half of it are you are told that it’s actually your pet dog.  Yup, that look of horror and disgust is about as close an approximation as I can give you. Just imagine that only 10 times worse.

So as you have probably now guessed, my burgers contain no beef tomato. What they do contain is something around 10-25% fat.  Burgers need fat.  Without it they are dry and tasteless.  So if you are hoping for some kind of healthy burger, you are going to be disappointed.  Burgers don’t exactly scream “health food” anyway.  I’m going to focus on gourmet burgers because let’s face it, anyone can do an ordinary burger – beef, salt and pepper… done.  It doesn’t make for the most exciting recipe!


Ingredients (Serves 4):


500g Quality Beef Mince

4 Brioche Buns

4 Rashers of Smoked Back Bacon

8 Rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon

2 large red Chilies (de-seeded)

1 medium sized Onion

1 clove Garlic

2 large Eggs

100g Double Gloucester Cheese

Worcester Sauce



2 large green Chilies (de-seeded)

1 sweet pointed red Pepper

20g Jalapeno Peppers

1 small red Onion

8 small vine ripened Tomatoes

White Vinegar




1.  Finely chop the streaky bacon, red chilies, garlic and onion.  A food processor can also be used.

2.  Add the mixture to the mince, along with one egg and some Worcester sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.

3.  Roll the combined mixture into a big ball and separate into four equal patties, ensuring each has the same thickness throughout – about an inch is good.

4.  Heat a grill pan to a very high heat.  While the pan is heating, crack the remaining egg and separate the yolk.  Brush the egg yolk on to each patty before searing on the grill pan, this will give the burgers a golden crust.  Turn each patty only once.

5.  When you have done one side and flipped the burger, add the slices of cheese.  Once the burger is nearly done, grill the rashers of back bacon and place on top of the now melted cheese.

6.  Cut the buns in half and toast lightly under a traditional grill.

7.  Serve the burgers with the relish and a leafy side salad (I like wild rocket) dressed with some white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.


The Relish:

1.  Roughly chop all the vegetables and blitz in a food processor.

2.  Strain the vegetable mix using a fine sieve or muslin cloth, the tomatoes will produce a lot of juice and we don’t want a watery relish.  Reserve the juice for now.

3.  Add the white vinegar and honey to taste.  The honey will make the relish a little thicker and stickier.  You can add some of the reserved vegetable juices to get the consistency you want.  Add a little salt and pepper and give it all a good mix.



The best meat to use for a burger is minced chuck (braising steak if you are looking in the supermarkets).  It contains a good mix of meat and fat, usually the supermarket “high-end” mince is made out of chuck.  Brisket and Rib also work quite well but (in the case of rib) you have the bones to deal with – unless you know a friendly butcher who will take care of that for you.  A mixture of the three meats is a good idea.

If you buy lean steak mince you need to add more fat.  Be that butter, bacon fat or beef fat – it is going to need more fat or it will end up dry.  My advice is not to use lean mince for burgers!

If you buy mince from the supermarket it will be all tangled in a block.  It’s important to untangle it as much as possible and get it back into long strips of meat, that will make the whole burger less heavy in texture.

A grill pan is essential in my opinion.  A traditional grill won’t be the same as it drains a lot of the fat, the grill pan is the closest thing you can get to a BBQ.  And that is the best way to cook a burger.  If you don’t have a grill pan you can use a frying pan but it’s not quite the same.

You can use lots of different cheeses.  Monterey Jack and Mozzarella are two of my favourites.  But Double Gloucester and Applewood smoked Cheddar are good alternatives.

3 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. […] to use the aforementioned Beef Tomatoes.  If you have no clue what I am on about, read my earlier chili bacon cheese burger recipe.  If you skip the dirt cheap supermarket brand canned tomatoes you will probably find that there […]

  2. […] Bacon, Cheese and Chilli Burgers with a burger relish […]

  3. chef_cerro says:

    Sorry for the poor picture on this one… I got a bit carried away with the eating and forgot to take a nice picture!


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