RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Honey Bourbon BBQ Burger with Crispy Bacon, Kosher Dill Pickle and Fried Onions


Honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped jalapeno
1/4 cup bourbon
2 cups bottled BBQ sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
2 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar

2 lbs. ground chuck
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. granulated onion

12 slices bacon, diced
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 slices Colby Cheddar cheese
6 Kaiser rolls, split

1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup crispy fried onions from the can
1 large Vlasic dill pickle, diced


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high

For the BBQ sauce, heat the oil in fire proof sauce pan on the grill over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno for 3-5 minutes. Add the Bourbon and cook for 2-3 minutes, cooking off all of the alcohol. Add the BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, honey, mustard and the apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

To make the patties, place the ground chuck in a large mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, garlic and onion. Combine well, handling the meat as little as possible. Over handling the meat will cause the burgers to be tough. Form 6 patties, cover and refrigerate.

To fry the bacon, heat a large fire proof skillet on the grill over medium heat. Cook the bacon for 6-7 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Wrap in foil and set aside.

Brush the grill rack with the oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, turning the burgers once. During the last 2 minutes of grilling add the cheese on top of the patty to melt. At the same time, place the buns, cut side down around the outer edges of the grill to toast.

To assemble the burgers, place a patty on each bun bottom. Spoon a generous amount of BBQ sauce on the cheese covered patty followed by equal portions of bacon, cilantro, onions and pickle. Add the bun tops and serve.

Serves 6


On April 20th, 2006, my daughter Lauren Murphy Rheem was born. After a pregnancy of uncertainty, she came into this great world with a smile. Almost immediately, we noticed things about her that were different. We began to learn terms like "tracheomalacia, simian crease, hydroneuphrosis, low tone and developmental delays." Her features were a little bit off. She had trouble breathing and eating and her muscles were so limp that most activities like walking, let alone sitting up, seemed like an impossible dream that may never be fulfilled. As the months went by, our doctors advised us to stay home so that her immune system could develop in the protection of our own house. Most, if not all, of my hobbies were put on the back burner, (golf, dining out, fly fishing and traveling), so I could devote all of my time to my then 4 year old son, who is the best big brother ever, my wonderful wife, who is an angel, and of course my daughter. I have always enjoyed cooking and watching the food network, but it became my outlet quickly. I watched nearly every show and spent many evenings and weekends experimenting in the kitchen trying to replicate dishes from favorite restaurants or parts of the world we have visited.

This burger comes from those many nights of experimenting in the kitchen. This Burger has been tested over and over, sampled by my kids and wife and I can promise you it comes from the heart. By the way, miracles do come true. My daughter, who has been diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder called Trisomy 9p, just turned three and she took her first steps with that same smile that she brought into this world. I hope that this burger brings a smile to your face!