’Tis the season for turkey. And the bacon trend may be “over,” but it doesn’t change the fact that almost everything is better with bacon, including these turkey burgers. In fact, they have bacon on them and in them.
THE MEAT: As you can probably tell by the name, this burger calls for two meats: turkey and bacon. Look for fresh ground turkey, which we can usually find in the meat case at our grocery store. If you can’t find it there, check the prepackaged meat in the cooler. Bacon goes on top, but because turkey is a super-lean meat, we also add small pieces in the burger patty to keep it juicy and flavorful.
THE METHOD: Before cutting the bacon that will go into the patties, make sure it’s really cold. You might even want to put it in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it easier to cut. You could also use a pair of sharp kitchen scissors. And when you’re mixing and forming the patties, be sure not to overwork the meat—doing so will result in a rubbery burger.
THE MEAL: An onion bun, lettuce and cranberry relish round out this burger and bring a little taste of Thanksgiving. Add a handful of chips and you’re ready to go.
2 pounds ground turkey
12 slices bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon your favorite barbecue rub
6 slices provolone cheese
1 head butter lettuce
Heat your oven to 375ºF. Cook six slices of the bacon on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until brown and sizzling. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to cool, then cut each slice in half.
Cut the remaining six pieces of bacon into thin (¼ inch or smaller) strips. Add the turkey to a large mixing bowl with the raw bacon strips, olive oil, worcestershire, salt, pepper and barbecue rub. Mix with your hands until incorporated. (At this point, the meat is ready but if you have the time to let it sit in the fridge for a while or make it the night before, it will only get better. Divide the turkey into 6 equal balls and form them into patties.)
Prepare your grill for direct grilling. Cook the patties directly over the fire for 4 minutes, flip them over and cook for an additional two minutes. Top the patties with the cooked bacon slices, then a slice of cheese. Allow the cheese to melt then remove the patties from the grill.
To assemble the sandwiches, add the patty to a bun, then top with lettuce and cranberry relish. (Mayonnaise is not necessary but does not hurt this sandwich.)