Burgers with Bacon Onion Jam: Progressive Tailgate

    It’s almost football season and you know what that means!  It’s time for tailgating and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers!  A few of my food blogging friends put together a progressive picnic earlier in the year and we decided to do a progressive tailgating party for the fall!  I received the main course and was excited to think up a delicious main dish.

     Whenever I think of tailgating I immediately think of grilling burgers and hot dogs.  Often times we just grill them up, slap them on a bun, and put ketchup or mustard on them.  This year I wanted to make a fancier burger that was still worthy of eating before or during a football game.   

     Enter the bacon onion jam.  Just the sound of it had me salivating.  Crispy bacon, thinly sliced red onions, and lots of balsamic vinegar simmered into a thick jam.  I made the jam early in the morning before it got too hot in the house and put it in the refrigerator until it was time to serve it.  Just throw it in a cooler before you leave and put it on your burger the last minute it’s on the grill. 

     The onion jam made all the difference in the world with our burgers.  The burger on its own was juicy but topped with provolone cheese and the onion jam it was amazing.  The jam is slightly sweet, slightly salty, with a rich balsamic flavor.  It’s delicious and would be great on pork or chicken as well.  I’ll be keeping this one on file for future cookouts.

Burgers with Bacon Onion Jam  (adapted from Elly Says Opa)
For the jam:
4 slices of bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/3 c. water

1 t. black pepper
For the burgers:
1 lb. lean ground beef (we used 90% lean)
1 t. Montreal steak seasoning
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. A-1 Sauce
4 slices provolone cheese
4 hamburger buns

1.  In a heavy-bottomed large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly browned but not  crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel and drain.

2.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.  Add the onion to the bacon fat and cook for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Add a tablespoon of water to the skillet and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the onions begin to brown.

4.  Add the vinegar, Dijon mustard, water, and black pepper.  Place the bacon back in the skillet as well and bring to a boil.

5.  Simmer for 5 minutes or until the liquid has thickened.  Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Reheat before serving.

6.  Heat the grill to medium high heat.

7.  In a large bowl combine the ground beef, Montreal steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and A-1 sauce.  Form into 3 equal patties.

8.  Grill over direct heat 5 minutes each side or until the burgers are cooked through.  Place a slice of provolone cheese on top of each and allow the cheese to melt.  Remove the burgers to a separate plate.

9.  To assemble place the burger on a bun and top with the warmed bacon onion jam.

Click on the links below to see all the recipes used in the progressive tailgate!

Beverage: Camille, Growing Up Gabel
Dip: Courtney, Optimistic Mommy
Main dish: Heather, Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Appetizer/Finger food: Ruth, What’s Cooking with Ruthie
Dessert: Denise, Run DMT 

This post linked to:
Friday Food Fight, Shine on Fridays, Seasonal Inspiration,




  1. says

    I have been wanting to try making onion chutney (what we call it in the UK) for a while now and the fact that you added bacon just pushed me over the edge. This is on my must do for this weekend. Thanks!

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