On The Line: Joe Youkhan of Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon, Part Three

We've discussed food, inspiration, and brains with Joe Youkhan of The Tasting Spoon luxe lonchera. It's about time he shares some of his delicious knowledge with us. A featured chef at this year's OC Fair, Joe provides the mise en place to the recipe he'll be demoing. Who knows, perhaps followers will be seeing it on his menu in the not-so-distant future. To get up to speed, you can review parts one and two.

Bacon 'n Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Onion 'Jam'
(Yields 4 Burgers)

Burger ingredients:

1 pound 75/25 Ground chuck (80/20 fat to meat ratio is good too)
1/2 pound Ground pork
1 small Spanish onion, pureed till smooth
2 garlic cloves, pureed till smooth
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup bread crumbs, soaked in water until soft, then squeezed dry
2  Tablespoons Tuscan garlic spice, Chef Joe's Signature Blend (available for purchase)
1 Tablespoon Worsterchire sauce
1 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Stick unsalted butter, softened
¼ Cup crispy bacon bits
¼ Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
4 each brioche hamburger buns (or any high quality bun), toasted
½ Cup onion 'jam', see attached recipe

Onion jam ingredients:

½ Cup olive oil
4 small onions, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 Cups dry red wine
½ Cup brown sugar
½ Cup red wine vinegar
2  Bay leaves
¼ Cup ketchup

Directions for burger:

Thoroughly combine first nine ingredients. Cover and put back in fridge.

Combine butter, bacon and cheese. Roll into log about 2 inches thick. Keep butter log wrapped in plastic in fridge until ready to use.

Evenly distribute meat into 8 thin patties, about ¼ inch thick.

Cut ½ inch piece of butter (remove plastic) and place in middle of patty.
Place another patty on top and mold into a burger. Continue until you have 4.

Salt and pepper both sides of hamburger and cook on a pre-heated, greased grill.
About 4 minutes per side, or until internal temp is 145 degrees. Let rest 5 minutes.

Lightly butter each half of toasted bun, place burger, and evenly spread jam.

Directions for onion 'jam':

Add oil to medium high heat sauce pan. Add onions, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cook 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add sugar and stir until it dissolves and begins to turn into a caramel.

Add vinegar and let reduce until vinegar is completely gone.

Add wine and simmer on low.

Cook on low until wine evaporates and onions are soft and thick.

Remove bay leaves, stir in ketchup.

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