The Ultimate Summer Condiment

There is a condiment unlike any other — a glistening concoction that will transform your burgers from fine to sublime, and that will have your summertime guests kneeling at  your feet in reverence, O’ God of the Barbecue. And I will share it with you, here, now, just in time for the 4th!

Bacon onion marmalade

This is not a condiment for vegetarians or the tentative. I call it bacon onion marmalade. And it is the anecdote to mediocre summer burgers. You may even want to bring a little stash with you when someone invites you to their barbecue.

Every year about this time, I begin lamenting about bad barbecues and their mongrel off-spring, the inedible hamburger. You know their kind — patties thick and crumbly, cooked to well done; store-bought buns, accidentally left on the grill to toast for too long and hard as tack; a big platter of iceberg lettuce and thick, mealy tomato slices; and squirt jars of ketchup and mustard.

We can do better, friends. Much better.

I’ve written about mastering a great burger several times before. So I will leave that conversation, for now, to the archives. If you want to read more, please consult those past posts:

Building a Better Burger (with six variations)
In the Burger Lab (Chorizo burger with manchego)
The Skinny Girls Burger

(And for goodness sakes, put some care into forming those patties, folks. They’re not supposed to resemble dirt clods.)

Here, I simply want to share one particular condiment that will rescue even the most overcooked burger — and is equally good on hot dogs, chicken breasts or pizzas. Perhaps you’ll even find your own favorite uses for it. (Breakfast toast, anyone?) If so, let us know!

*   *   *

Bacon onion marmalade
makes enough for 4-6 burgers

3 slices bacon
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar (or regular rice wine vinegar, plus 1 tbsp. sugar)
1 tbsp. ketchup
3 padron peppers, thinly sliced (optional)
A couple dashes Tabasco
freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a sauté pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, chop and set aside. Place sliced onion in the pan with the bacon grease. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until golden and caramelized. Add rice wine vinegar, ketchup and peppers, if using, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add bacon, a couple dashes Tabasco (to taste) and ground pepper. Stir, cook for one more minute, and remove from heat.

Spread one heaping tablespoon on top of hamburgers with your choice of other condiments.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Gaskin
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 03:32:45

    Shi will LOVE!

    Reply

  2. Michelle
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 13:38:06

    Nobody vegetarian or tentative around here. Looks great!

    Reply

  3. The BroadHouse
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 16:06:54

    YUM YUM! Sounds and looks burgasm worthy!

    Reply

  4. Bill Chance
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 06:02:49

    That looks fantastic. There is always something new and good to find.
    Bacon. Onion. Marmalade – three words that are pretty good each by themselves.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  5. sybaritica
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 20:30:25

    Great on all sorts of sandwiches I bet 🙂

    Reply

  6. Jessamine in PDX
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 06:30:52

    totally making this very soon!

    Reply

  7. Trackback: Finally following through (and eating bacon onion marmalade) | Attempts in Domesticity

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