I love making turkey burgers and wanted to take this burger out of the box. Who doesn't love bacon, and combining it with caramelized onions and a good splash of Tennessee Whiskey, it's a party in you mouth. The pineapple gives it a sweet note and the English Muffin adds the crunch to bring it all together. We couldn't put it down and then wanted to just sit back and eat the jam with a big spoon. The recipe is fairly simple, but the time to make the jam will be more than worth it. It can be made ahead of time and warmed up when you're ready to use it.
For the Burgers: Combine all of the burger ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Don’t over mix. Separate into 8 patties, cover, set in the fridge and let them rest. Bring them out about 15 minutes before you are ready to cook them.
For the Jam: Put the bacon in a cold cast iron, or other heavy frying pan, add about 1 tablespoon of water to the pan, turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is starting to become crisp, stirring occasionally. Don’t let them get too well done. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Pour out all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and return to the stove. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and the salt and cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are starting to get soft.
At that point add the bacon, brown sugar and water, stir together, turn the heat to low, cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, add the whisky, turn the heat back up to medium and cook partially covered for 10 to 15 minutes. For the last couple of minutes, add the apple cider vinegar and combine thoroughly. This could be made ahead of time and reheated when needed.
(To save time, start the onions at the same time as the bacon, in a second pan with two tablespoons of vegetable oil and the salt, following the directions above. When the bacon is done, drain out most of the bacon fat, leaving about one tablespoon, and add the onions to that pot using a slotted spoon. Follow the remaining directions.)
Cooking the Burgers: Heat a heavy cast iron pan or grill pan to medium high, brush with oil or spray, press an indentation into the top of each patty with your thumb, and put on the patties. Cook for 4 minutes. Don’t move them until they are ready to turn.
Turn and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes and check for desired doneness, about 150 deg. Continue to cook if necessary.
Turn the heat to low, tear the cheese slices into quarters and place the cheese on each burger, cover and allow to melt, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let rest while assembling the burgers.
Assembling the sandwich: Brush a small amount of vegetable oil (optional) on each side of the pineapple rings and heat the rings in the pan that you cooked the burgers in, on medium-high, on both sides to develop a little crust.
Toast or grill the split muffins until brown and crispy, but not burnt.
Place a pineapple ring on each muffin bottom, followed by the burger. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of the jam on top of each burger, cover with the top half of the muffin and serve.