Bourbon Bluetick Burgers with Boozy BBQ Sauce & Charred Onions
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1/4 small sweet onion, minced (plus 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings)
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 Bourbon Bluetick Burger Patties, thawed
- 4 slices smoked cheddar cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 butter lettuce leaves
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, onion, and garlic, season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, whisk to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Add the bourbon and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Add the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, water, brown sugar, and mustard. Stir well to combine and reduce the heat to low.
- Using an immersion blender (or transferring the sauce to a stand blender), pulse until smooth. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes and preferably for 1 hour (which will make the flavors even richer). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to high.
- Season the burger patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Using your thumb, make a small indent in the center of each patty to keep the burgers from puffing up while they cook.
- On both sides, evenly drizzle the onion slices with the remaining olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Place the onion slices on the grill and cook, flipping halfway through, until charred, about 20 minutes.
- Place the burgers on the grill and cook to your desired doneness, about 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side for medium-rare. Place a slice of smoked cheddar onto each of the burgers and allow the cheese to melt, about 30 seconds.
- Toast the burger buns on the grill until very lightly golden, about 30 seconds. To assemble the burgers, spread each toasted bottom bun with a spoonful of the bourbon BBQ sauce and then top with a lettuce leaf, burger patty, grilled onions, one more spoonful of sauce, and the top bun.