BACON JUICY LUCY Cheeseburgers
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (I like 93/7 or 96/4).....................2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
4-6 slices of REAL cheddar or American cheese…….................……1/2 tsp. pepper
2-4 TB. extra-virgin olive oil (to replace the fat in extra-lean beef)
4 slices smoked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (thick is best ~ cut into small pieces when cooked)...............................................................................................1 tsp. Kosher salt
olive oil non-stick cooking spray....................................................4 hamburger buns
Lettuce, tomato, onions and whatever condiments you like
3" jar lid (as a burger mold) is helpful
LACTOSE-FREE: Soy cheese and dried chopped parsley (so you can tell which ones are lactose-free, if you're doing both on the grill)
Put the ground beef into a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Mix it all together with your hands.
Divide beef into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a tightly packed ball. Set 3 aside, and do one ball at a time. Divide into 2 equal portions. Flatten them into a circle on a cutting board. (I like to mash it down into a 3" plastic jar lid ~ all the way to the sides, because then I get uniform burgers.) Fold a piece of cheese in quarters, and put in middle of burger (not all the way to the edge). If you have room on each burger, you can add another 2 quarters from the extra 2 slices of cheese. ** Cover the cheese with bacon crumbles. Mash the other half of the meat ball between the palm of your hands and cover the bacon and cheese. Crimp the edges together to seal them or make sure it's all the way to the edges of the jar lid (with no cheese showing), and tightly packed ~ the cheese and bacon will make a bump on top. Repeat until all 4 burgers are ready.
** TIP: If you're doing both regular cheese and lactose-free burgers, sprinkle some dried parsley flakes in the bottom of the jar lid before forming your burger. Then sprinkle some on the top before you mash it down and seal around the edges ~ so that you can tell which one is which on the BBQ **
Spray both sides lightly with olive oil non-stick spray so they don't stick to the grill. Carefully set them on the grill (cheese bump side-up), and grill about 5 minutes. Flip and poke the (now) top a few times to let steam escape; then grill another 3-5 minutes. They should be a little softer than your normal grilled burger, so that the cheese is gooey inside.
Wait about 5 minutes before eating, or you’ll burn yourself on the cheese inside! Put on buns and add lettuce, tomato, onion and/or whatever condiments you like.
ANOTHER TIP: I make my bacon in the microwave (lay 4 strips of bacon on paper towels; and cover tightly with more paper towel.) Put on a plate or pyrex pan and microwave for 4-5 minutes (5 min. for thicker slices). Let it cool a few minutes before pulling the paper towels & bacon off of the plate/pan. THEN, I don't wash the pan and put my burgers on there to take them out to the grill (so they'll have a touch of bacon grease on them for flavor).