"This is my answer to the bacon cheeseburgers we were eating way too often at our house. Stuffing the burger allows you to use a smaller amount of high-fat ingredients, but in a way that still makes a big impact. And as far as my husband is concerned, stuffing anything with bacon is never a bad idea." —Jill Simmons, Suisun City, Calif.
1 ounce pancetta, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 slices)
1/3 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 pound ground round
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese (such as Sargento)
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon commercial pesto
4 (2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns
How to Make It
Prepare grill or broiler.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add the pancetta to pan; cook 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan, reserving drippings in pan; set pancetta aside. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Combine onion mixture, pepper, salt, seasoning, and beef in a bowl. Shape beef mixture into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) patties. Top each of 4 patties with pancetta and 2 tablespoons Swiss cheese, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edge. Top with remaining 4 patties; pinch edges to seal.
Place patties on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes. Turn and cook 5 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in center measures 160°. Combine mayonnaise and pesto. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture on bottom half of each bun. Top each serving with 1 patty and top half of the hamburger bun.
Don't be fooled by the previous rater (who didin't follow the recipe at all, btw, so I don't know why she bothered rating it.) This is hands-down the BEST burger recipe I have ever tried. I've never been able to make burgers this delicious before. Now this is the only recipe I use. I've made it a handful of times now and it always comes out excellent. I don't have an outdoor grill so I just use my grill pan. I've also used center-cut bacon whenever I have trouble finding pancetta and it comes out just as good. EXCELLENT!
Since my husband is now watching is cholesterol, I thought I would give this alternative-fast-food recipe a shot (Plus he loves things that are stuffed with cheese). First, I made some changes to make it less fatty: I used ground turkey (98% fat-free) and I switched the pancetta for turkey-bacon (1.5 g / slice). I also used Kraft's EVOO mayo with the commercial pesto. Definitely do not skip the pesto-mayo-- it tops the burgers perfectly without needing ketchup. I put spinach on the bottom to kick up the leafy greens. I served it with a salad.
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