Spoils of the Flame: Hickory Tinted Bacon Cheeseburgers
It was a pretty good evening at the pit, I don’t mind saying. One of those patented, gorgeous, Minnesota evenings that when they happen are the finest evenings anywhere in the world. You see, when you wait around for 6 months swaddled in Bill Cosby sweaters and long underwear waiting for the perfect weather in which to grill supper, then, when it actually does happen, you are positively the most grateful person on the planet. You just are.
Thus it was at the Pond Side Pit, under softly ebbing salmon skies, that we reveled in weather most extraordinary, and favored a continuing burger kick partial to a beautiful bed of coals. I do not know why, nor do I seek to analyze it much, but burgers, in particular, big burgers with lots of bacon, cheese, and onions have been my most favorite thing to eat lately. And man did these meat monoliths do the trick. There was no messing around at the pit tonight. We aimed to fill our bellies, and we meant to do it right.
Whilst the beautiful hand-formed patties sizzled over the hot cast iron grate, I got to work on the onions. Also, I found this gem of a black iron pan out in the garage, a smaller 6 inch skillet that was perfect for the job. I suppose we could have used one of our cast iron griddle inserts like we did a couple of weeks back, but we like to spread the love to our other cast iron entities as well. We’re big fans of cast iron around here, if you haven’t noticed, and will bandy with that world often if we can. There is nothing better for cooking over the fire, and maybe even cooking period, than cast iron. Love it. So if you have grandma’s old black iron pan just sitting in your basement holding down a stack of old photos, we highly recommend sticking one of these pans in your grilling kit. Great for the sort of stuff that always slips through the grate, like these here onions. Yum!
And then there was bacon. Yes, I started a paragraph with the word “and” , and all the grammar police now surely hath cringed. Eyeballs rolling. But hark, it’s bacon people, and bacon should be allowed to bend the grammatical rules. Bacon is special. Countries may topple and rise with bacon. Our very destiny with alien life forms may hinge on whether or not we offered them bacon at that first meeting. Boy, I think I’ve digressed. The point is bacon is good, and nobody can deny it. Anyways, we set the bacon indirect for a while to absorb some of the hickory smoke that which wafted by. Man. The smell of sizzling bacon and fried onions over a bed of hickory coals. Buckle up people!
Hickory. We were running a trifle low on charcoal this cook and augmented the briquettes with a nice pile of hickory chunks. A lovely means in which to cook outdoors. A poetry closer to the open fire cooking of the cowboys in days past. Speaking of, we will be delving more into wood fired cooking arts this summer, sans charcoal altogether. Just straight up wood, such as man was perhaps always intended to cook his spoils all along. Be looking for more posts on that.
And so the sun ebbed over the house tops and budding cottonwood trees, it’s long salmon rays spilling across the freshly hewn grasses where long shadows were cast. The sounds of the neighborhood unwinding accompanied thee as I placed slices of smoked Gouda over the savory flanks of charred beef. I smiled as any pit jockey would, as I lowered a big tong full of fried onions atop the cheese. Then of course, the bacon. How are you not drooling on your screens right now! Mercy. Then, like a flag on the summit of Mount Everest it’s self, we topped each burger with a gently toasted bun. Burgers just don’t get no better, folks.
I don’t know if you believe in love at first sight, but I say it so, leastwise with these hickory tinted bacon cheeseburgers it is. Spoils of the flame. And patron to the pit. Amen.
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Oh my. My mouth doth drool. I grilled up burgers last night, using my new cast iron griddle pan to serve as a flat top. They were a big hit. Next time, I plan to use the griddle to cook the bacon whilst the burgers cook over open flame. I’m also looking forward to making onion slice lollipops. ’Tis the season. Cheers.
May 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm
Its Todd! Howdy sir! Good to hear you’re putting that cast iron griddle to work for you. Aren’t they fun to cook over? I love that kind of thing. They add such a nice, utilitarian dimension to the grill. The world becomes yours with a good slab of cast iron at your side.
Happy Grillin’ ol chap!
May 25, 2017 at 9:30 am
Looks absolutely delicious. I gave up charcoal briquettes about three years ago and have never looked back. Cooking over wood is the way to go. Cheers and wishes for continues great weather!
May 25, 2017 at 8:57 am
Is there any more poetic way to cook than over wood? Sounds good, gldlubala. Proud of ya mate! Thanks for chiming in, always a pleasure!
May 25, 2017 at 9:25 am
There’s no more perfect a food group than Bacon Cheese Burgers, for sure!
May 25, 2017 at 9:34 am
I know, the three most important foods all in one like that. It’s a beautiful thing!
May 25, 2017 at 9:39 am
Fantastic food, great prose, and pictures so vibrant you can taste them! Thank you, my friend for another inspiring post. Minnesota winters do tend to make one more appreciative of Spring and the new life it brings. Enjoy life! JandM
May 25, 2017 at 9:57 am
Thanks John in Ecuador. Appreciate that. Yup, tho you are some what spoiled, I suspect, living in paradise year around, I know also you get what I mean when a nice day here is the nicest day anywhere on the planet. You’ve lived here! It’s the business of doing with out, I guess, that which heightens your appreciation for such things. Just a theory. But I think a fair one!
Blessings to you and Mary
May 25, 2017 at 10:01 am
If you did not know the bitter, you would not know the sweet!
May 26, 2017 at 6:49 am
May 26, 2017 at 10:21 am