Here in Minnesota, grilling is always in season, even when the weather goes all Polar Vortex on us. During the winter, Pat braves the elements in his warmest outerwear in order to grill our dinner. Now I’m not going to lie; nothing about grilling in winter is pretty. There are times when he has to shovel a path to the grill. And you could argue that the headlamp and occasional balaclava are a bit extreme. But all that effort is totally worth it, especially when the reward is this juicy Guinness Burger with Irish Cheddar and Bacon.
These burgers are perfect St. Patrick’s Day party food, even for those folks who don’t usually like beer. The recipe calls for a mere 1/4 cup of brew, so we’re not talking in-your-face Guinness taste. It’s a subtle flavor that melds nicely with the garlic, onions and dijon mustard.
The burgers are a bit loose when you form them because of the extra liquid from the beer, so be mindful of that when you throw them on the grill. Make sure you oil the grates and/or the patties themselves to ensure they release without tearing the burger in half.
A few slices of aged Irish cheddar, crisp bacon and a toasted English muffin are the finishing touches to this classic burger and beer combination. And since everyone is a wee bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy these burgers with a Guinness or other Irish ale of your choice. (The balaclava and headlamp are entirely optional.) Sláinte!
4 thick slices cheddar cheese, preferably Irish cheddar (I used Kerrygold)
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
4 English muffins, split and toasted
Add first 8 ingredients (ground beef through pepper) in a large bowl and gently mix with your hands. Be careful not to overwork the meat or it will become tough. Form 4 equal patties and place on a small sheet pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium high. Lightly oil cooking grates and/or patties. Grill to desired level of doneness, placing cheese on for the last minute or two of grilling. Place burgers on split English muffins and top with bacon. Serve immediately.