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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Classic Western Burgers

Notes: To make bread crumbs, whirl about 2 slices of fresh bread, torn into pieces, in a food processor or blender. The special slaw builds an array of condiments right into this burger. If desired, however, offer a condiment bar of your favorites: lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, mustard, and catsup.

Sunset JULY 2001

  • Yield: Makes 10 servings


  • 10 slices thick-cut bacon (about 3/4 lb. total)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 onion (about 8 oz.), peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • About 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • About 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds ground lean (about 7% fat) beef
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs (see notes)
  • 10 slices red onion (each 1/4 in. thick and 3 to 4 in. wide)
  • 10 slices (about 4 by 4 in.) extra-sharp white or yellow cheddar cheese (about 5 oz. total)
  • 10 hamburger buns (each about 4 in. wide; 3 oz.), split in half
  • Special slaw


1. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, in batches if necessary, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. With tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool, break each slice in half.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, onion, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to blend. Add beef and bread crumbs and mix gently. Form into 10 equal patties, each about 4 1/2 inches wide.

3. Brush onion slices lightly on both sides with bacon fat in pan. Discard remaining fat.

4. Lay patties and onion slices on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning meat and onions once to brown on both sides, until a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part of meat registers 160° (no longer pink in center), 6 to 8 minutes total.

5. About 2 minutes before patties are done, top each with a slice of cheese. Also lay bun halves, cut side down, on grill and toast 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Set bun bottoms on a platter or plates. With a wide spatula, transfer patties to bun bottoms. Top each with a grilled onion slice, 2 pieces of bacon, and a spoonful of special slaw. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with bun tops.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 718
  • Calories from fat: 40%
  • Protein: 46g
  • Fat: 32g
  • Saturated fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrate: 60g
  • Fiber: 4.8g
  • Sodium: 1317mg
  • Cholesterol: 152mg

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Classic Western Burgers recipe