Emeril's Home-Ground Burgers with Bacon, Cheese, and Fresh Thyme

Orange Habanero Ketchup Adds a Sweet Kick!

Difficulty: Moderate
Cook Time: min

Father's Day is just around the corner. Celebrity chef, TV host and author Emeril Lagasse offers this great burger meal for idea for Dad's special day.


  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 sesame-seed hamburger rolls, lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 8 thin slices tomato
  • Mayonnaise, for serving
  • Ketchup, for serving
  • Mustard, for serving
  • Pickles, for serving
  • Ingredients for Orange-Habanero Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 habanero chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (with the juice), broken into pieces
  • Cooking Directions

    1. Place the diced chuck in a large bowl.

    2. Set a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and most of the fat has been rendered (for about 7 or 8 minutes.)

    3. Add the onions to the pan and cook them until they are softened (about 4 to 5 minutes.)

    4. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, until it's fragrant.

    5. Add the thyme and toss to combine.

    6. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the diced chuck. Drizzle with the Worcestershire, and season with the salt and pepper. Toss gently but thoroughly to combine. Cover and set aside to marinate, refrigerated, for 1 hour.

    7. Assemble a home grinder according to the manufacturer's instructions, using a medium die for grinding. Grind the meat mixture and then gently form it into 4 patties, being careful not to overwork it. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

    8. Pre-heat a grill to medium, and lightly oil the grate.

    9. Remove the patties from the refrigerator and place them on the grill. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Then turn them over and place 2 slices of the cheddar on each burger. Cook for another 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare to medium, or until the burgers are cooked to the desired degree of doneness.

    10. Place a burger on the bottom of each of the 4 toasted buns. Dress with the lettuce

    and tomatoes, and add mayo, ketchup, mustard, and pickles as desired. Serve immediately.

    How to Prepare the Orange-Habanero Ketchup

    1. Set a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, habanero, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until softened.

    2. Add the wine vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, kosher salt, mustard, and mace. Stir to combine.

    3. Bring the sauce to a boil, and add the tomatoes and tomato juices. Continue to cook for about 20 or 25 minutes until the liquid has been reduced by half.

    2. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool briefly, then transfer the mixture to a food processor, and puree until very smooth. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

    3. Store the ketchup in a clean non-reactive container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. This preparation yields about 3 cups.

    Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, from Emeril at the Grill, Harper Studio Publisher, New York, 2009, courtesy MSLO, Inc.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: beef chuck, tomato slices, hamburger rolls

    Course: Lunch

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