We're in the thick of summer, so these Drive-In Burgers from our sweet friend Areli Biggers seemed like the perfect recipe to share! Check out Areli's inspiration for the dish:
"As I looked into the Saucy Mama Company history and the area where they are located, I was drawn to the power that comes from family, heritage and small town living. I believe that if we pass along our traditions and flavors to the next generation we will always live on. This recipe then, was inspired by the sunshine and community of Pendleton, Oregon with my take on a burger made like those at an old fashion local Pendleton Drive-In, that has been making burgers since 1952."
Saucy Mama Drive-In Deluxe Burger with Fancy Fry Sauce
For the Burger
1 lb. 80/20 ground chuck
8 bacon strips
1 large onion (sliced)
2 tbsp. canola oil (1+1)
1 garlic clove (chopped)
2 tbsp. Saucy Mama Four Leaf Balsamic Dressing
4 small jalapeño peppers
4 pieces deli ham (black forest or similar)
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 thin tomato slices
4 large lettuce leaves
4 pretzel buns (Saucy Mama German Heritage Inspiration)
4 tsp. Saucy Mama Backyard Brat Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Fancy Fry Sauce
For the Fry Sauce
Mix the ingredients together very well and place in the fridge until ready to use.
For the Burger
Make four same size hamburger patties (I like to press the meat into a bowl and cut in fourths as a pie and press in the middle to make room for the toppings). Salt and pepper as desired. Start your bacon in a “cold” cast iron skillet (trust me) and cook 4 minutes on each side or until crisp. Place the bacon on a paper towel or on a paper bag (my favorite method, I love to recycle). Set aside.
Discard the bacon grease and clean cast iron with a paper towel; heat it to medium high, add 1 tbsp. canola oil and onions. Using the same skillet, move the onion to one side and add the jalapeño peppers to the other side so the peppers start to char (if you don’t like spicy food, avoid this step).
Cook onions for 4-5 minutes until they start to sweat, stir occasionally and add a little more oil if necessary. When onions start to caramelize, add garlic and Saucy Mama Four Leaf Balsamic Dressing, mix well, allow them to take on the flavor and transfer to a bowl. Keep an eye on the peppers until they are completely charred. Place them next to the onions and bacon.
Heat 4 pieces of ham and set with the rest of the ingredients. Clean the skillet one more time and bring to a high heat; add 1 tbsp. canola oil and place the burgers when the oil is hot. Cook until golden brown on one side (3 minutes for medium rare) flip over and cook for 3 more minutes. During the last minutes of cooking, add the toppings starting with the bacon (2 strips per burger, jalapeño pepper, onions and cheese). Turn the skillet off and cover with a lid.
Toast the pretzel buns and assemble the burger by placing first on the bottom bread Saucy Mama Backyard Brat Mustard, ham, the meat with all the toppings, tomatoes, and lettuce; then cover the top bread with lots of Saucy Mama Fancy Fry Sauce and place on burger.
Serve with sweet potato fries with a side of fancy fry sauce for dipping.
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