This burger was inspired by some of the "greatest hits" of a classic American breakfast. The patty is seasoned with my favorite homemade sausage seasonings, and the smoky bacon jam is sweetened with pure maple syrup. The patty is topped with sharp white cheddar and a fried egg, and everything is held together by a buttery bakery brioche bun. Now you can have "breakfast" morning, noon and night!
2Prepare the Smoky Bacon-Shallot Jam: Place the bacon in a large skillet set over the grill rack. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat has been rendered and the bacon is lightly crisped, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
3Carefully pour off all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add the shallots and the garlic to the skillet, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, Tabasco and reserved bacon; stir to mix. Bring the mixture to a low boil, and then reduce the grill heat to low. Simmer the mixture until the liquid has reduced and thickened to a syrupy consistency, stirring occasionally, 25-30 minutes.
4Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes in the skillet, and then transfer it to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse the mixture until the bacon is coarsely chopped (do not puree!) Transfer the jam to a bowl, cover, and set aside to cool completely.
5Return the grill heat to medium-high.
6Prepare the patties: Place the onion, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and allspice in a large bowl; stir to mix. Add the ground chuck to the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid overworking it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the size of the buns.
7Grill the patties: Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 4-6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. During the last few minutes of grilling, place one slice of cheese on each patty. Transfer the burgers to aluminum foil-lined plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
8Place one tablespoon of the butter on a large heat-proof skillet or griddle pan, and place on the grill. Spread the remaining butter on both cut sides of the split brioche buns. Place the buns, cut sides down, around the circumference of the grill (or on the upper grill grate, if available), to lightly toast. Crack the eggs onto the pan/griddle, and sprinkle with the pepper and salt. Let the eggs cook until the whites are set, about 1 minute. Carefully flip the eggs, trying not to break the yolks, and cook for 15 seconds longer.
9Assemble the burgers: Divide the spinach among the bottom halves of the buns and place the patties on top of the spinach. Spread a generous layer of the bacon jam on the top halves of the buns. Top the patties with a fried egg and the top buns. Serve immediately!