The ultimate BLT burgers with honey treacle-glazed bacon, griddled lettuce and smoky tomato mayo
- For the honey treacle-glazed bacon
- 18 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon, divided
- 2 1/2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp treacle
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- Pinch ground cayenne
- For the grilled lettuce
- 4 leaves radicchio
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- For the smoky tomato mayo
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic
- 180ml mayonnaise
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the burgers
- 900g minced steak
- 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for grill pan
- 175g Comte or Gruyere, grated
- 6 hamburger buns, split
2) Roughly chop six of the bacon slices, and add to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon just barely begins to turn crispy, about for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cooked bacon to a food processor and process for 4 to 5 seconds. Set aside for later use in the burgers.
For the honey treacle-glazed bacon:
1) In a small mixing bowl, combine the honey, treacle, vinegar and cayenne pepper, and mix until well combined. Brush the remaining 12 bacon slices on both sides with the honey mixture.
2) Heat a large fireproof non-stick pan on the griddle. Add half the bacon and cook over a medium high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes, flipping once. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining bacon.
For the griddled lettuce:
1) Soak the radicchio leaves, for about 10 minutes, in an ice bath to lessen the amount of bitterness. Remove the leaves from the ice bath and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the leaves with 1 tbsp oil.
2) Put on the griddle and cook briefly on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2.5cm-wide strips.
3) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, the sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard. Add the radicchio and toss to coat.
For the smoky tomato mayo:
1) Put the tomato on the griddle and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until most of the skin has blackened. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with cling film. After 10 minutes, squeeze the tomato into a strainer to remove the seeds and most of the skin (you can leave a little bit of the burnt skin). Discard the seeds and skin.
2) In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tomato, smoked paprika, garlic and mayonnaise and puree. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
For the burgers:
1) Combine the beef, reserved bacon (that was chopped in the food processor), tarragon, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and form into burgers to fit the size of the buns.
2) Brush the griddle pan with vegetable oil. Arrange the burgers in the pan and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top with equal amounts of cheese and put the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the griddle to toast lightly.
3) Spread a generous amount of the smoky tomato mayo on the cut side of the buns. Top the bottoms with two slices of honey treacle-glazed bacon, a cheese-topped burger and equal amounts of grilled lettuce. Cover with the bun tops and serve.
A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs cannot make representation as to the results.