80/20 Baconburger at Dickson's Farmstand Meats: Scrumptious!
I'd popped into Chelsea Market last Saturday to score a lump of guanciale at Buon Italia, when the meat case at Dickson's Farmstand Meats caught my eye--always good to give it a look and see what sorts of products, many of them oddball, are currently being offered. There among the novel sausages, pork sirloins, bone marrows sliced two ways, delicious smoked ham, and homemade pancetta a neat array of burgers scampered forward, advertised as 80 percent beef and 20 percent bacon, for $6 each. My dinner plans were settled! They appeared to be about a half-pound each, and were mottled with what looked like pork fat. Would they be any good?
I wasn't sure whether the bacon would already be cooked or not, but I was soon to find out. If you think about it for a moment, it makes logical sense that you'd use cooked bacon, and mix in the fat with the grass-fed beef, which tends to be a little lean anyway. If you made the patties with uncooked bacon, you'd have to cook the patties nearly through, unless you like eating raw bacon.
I turned the flame under the non-stick pan to high, and seared the crap out of both sides. Then I cooked it a bit more (say, five minutes) at a lower temperature. That proved to be perfect, leaving the interior medium rare, flecked with the cooked bacon. I added a bun from Amy's with cheese already on top, cut a few onions, spread some mayo, and the thing was ready.
Having the bacon flavor mixed in with the grassy beef flavor turned out to be a boon, and the bacon seemed to have crisped a bit under influence of heat. The two sides of the burger, in fact, were rendered crunchy, almost like the flamed top of a savory crème brulee. Altogether a good meat-eating experience, and one that you shouldn't hesitate to foist off on your dinner guests, perhaps at a backyard barbecue.