BBQ Bacon Burgers with Homemade French Fries

Burgers are my jam! Seriously, I love nothing more than a good burger. My hubby isn’t the biggest fan and doesn’t like going out for burgers so he presented a challenge for me to create/make a burger and said that I could out beat any burger out there and won’t want to go out for a burger again…..and I have to say, he was completely right. This burger is THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER HAD. No exaggeration. The first bite of this burger, I was in heaven. It was so juicy and flavorful. Unless I’m on a road trip and want to try a burger joint that’s not here in Texas, I will definitely just make my own burgers from now on. I used this smoky burger slider recipe from The Hopeless Housewife as my base and added a couple things to help hold them together because in my experience, my burgers tend to fall apart. And of course you can’t have a burger without bacon in my opinion. So the BBQ bacon burger was born! So here’s what you need:

Ingredients:
2 pounds 80%/20% ground beef (I used 90%/10%)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
**1 teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder (my addition)
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup smoky BBQ sauce
salt and pepper for seasoning

Additional Ingredients:
heaping handful of Italian breadcrumbs
1 egg
4 pieces of bacon

Directions:
Combine beef and all ingredients for burgers, including the egg and breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. For me, the egg and breadcrumbs help to keep the burgers from falling apart. It’s the same principle my mom taught me when making meatloaf. Mix well to combine. Portion beef evenly to form 4 burgers.

Cook bacon till crispy. Save any bacon grease.

Brush burgers lightly with olive oil the season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Our grill was not heating properly so I just pan seared them in the reserved bacon grease. I actually think this helped to give it awesome flavor and to keep it moist and juicy. I served my burgers on wheat buns and all my favorite burger fixings.

Now for the fries. Can’t have a burger without fries! And of course, The Culinary Beautician wasn’t going to settle for frozen fries. So I found a recipe for oven baked fries and even said that they are extra crispy (which is my definition of a good fry). And again, I found a gem of a recipe. Check it out!

Extra Crispy Oven Baked French Fries
Courtesy of Layers of Happiness

Seasoning Mix (DO NOT USE ALL  OF THE SEASONING FOR ONE BATCH, READ INSTRUCTIONS):
2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the Fries:
3 medium russet potatoes (russet are the best choice for perfect crispy fries)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)

Instructions

Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut off the ends. With a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide.

Add the fries to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour).

After the fries have soaked, drain, rinse, and lay the fries on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick spray. Make sure the previously used bowl is dry and add the potatoes to it, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning mixture based on how much salt you prefer. Toss around to mix.

Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Remove fries from the oven and turn the oven up to 425 degrees. Return the fries to the oven until they are golden brown and the ends look a little burnt.

Sprinkle the fries with the other half of the seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese (optional). Serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!