The Five Marys Burger

June 22, 2023
0 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • makes 12 burgers
Author Notes

Brian and I have lunch at the Burgerhouse most of our working weekdays, usually hunched across from one another over laptops as we plan for the next project or problem-solve the latest emergency. We have worked hard enough most days to need a Burgerhouse special burger, served with two flame-kissed patties made with our dry-aged ground beef on a soft potato bun.

At home, when we make burgers, we usually only put one beef patty on each bun, but we still do it up in the condiments department. I love a good spicy sauce, but I also love to balance that out with a bit of sweetness. The recipes that follow outline my idea of an ideal burger: a patty tinged with herbs and spice (our meat doesn’t need much), topped with pickled onions, candied bacon, tomato jam, a piquant fig spread, and a hit of blue cheese. When I put out a burger bar for a crowd, I also place chopped iceberg lettuce, tomato, and pickles on the table, but do what you want. It’s your burger bar. —Mary at Five Marys Farm

Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted from Five Marys Family Style. Copyright © 2022 by Mary Heffernan. Published by Sasquatch Books.

Bacon Marmalade reprinted from Five Marys Ranch Raised Cookbook. Copyright © 2020 by Mary Heffernan. Published by Sasquatch Books.

What You'll Need
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The Five Marys Burger
  • For the burgers:
  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 soft potato hamburger buns, split horizontally
  • Unsalted butter, softened, for the buns (optional)
  • Spicy mayo, for serving
  • Sliced cheese of your choice, for serving
  • Lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Sliced tomato, for serving
  • Pickles, for serving
  • Bacon marmalade, for serving
  • Tomato jam, for serving

  • For the bacon marmalade:
  • 1 pound thick-cut smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • For the sungold tomato jam:
  • 2 pints (about 4 cups) juicy, ripe Sungold, cherry, or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Grill the burgers: Prepare a hardwood fire for grilling, or heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Divide the beef into 12 (⅓-pound) portions and form each into an approximately 4-inch round patty, placing them on a baking sheet as you form them. In a small bowl, mix together the kosher salt, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the patties (about ½ teaspoon for each), and set aside at room temperature while the grill heats.
  2. Lightly butter the insides of each potato bun and set aside. When the grill is hot, brush the cooking grates clean. Add the patties seasoned side up and grill (with the lid closed, if using a charcoal grill) for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once about halfway through, or until the patties are well marked on both sides. (Cook for 6 minutes for a pretty rare burger, or 8 minutes for medium.) About a minute before the burgers are done, add the candied bacon to each patty and top with any cheese, closing the grill’s lid again to allow them to warm for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the patties to a platter.
  3. Add the potato buns to the grill, cut side down, cover, and toast for about 30 seconds, or until warmed and just barely marked. To serve, allow guests to build their own burgers with any of the toppings they prefer.
  4. Make the bacon marmalade: In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned but not crisp, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Add the onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved bacon, the coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vinegar. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  5. Let the mixture cool, then pulse in a food processor until it is the consistency of a spread that holds together but is still a little chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The marmalade can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  6. Make the tomato jam: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine tomatoes with olive oil, ¼ cup water, garlic, and plenty of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes on medium-low, until the tomatoes release their liquid and begin to collapse.
  7. Continue cooking, uncovered, at a strong simmer for another 10 minutes or so, or until the mixture is thick enough that when you draw a line across the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula; it takes a moment for the jam to come back together. Stir in sugar and white vinegar (plus red pepper flakes, for a spicier version), cook for 1 more minute, then transfer to a pint-size mason jar, cover, and cool to room temperature. The jam can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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