Bacon Jam and Blue Cheese Are the Keys to This Best-Ever Burger Recipe

Ultra savory, ultra delicious and courtesy of Boundary Stone Public House chef David Bacot

April 25, 2023 6:08 am
A burger next to a drink and fries
The bacon jam is made with applewood--smoked bacon, whiskey and maple syrup.

A good burger should be big enough that it’s tough to finish comfortably and delicious enough that you’re up to the challenge. And at Boundary Stone Public House, Executive Chef David Bacot’s blue cheese and bacon burger definitely understands the assignment: A medium-rare patty paired with pickled beets and grilled red onions is smothered with crumbled blue cheese and house-made bacon jam for the ideal marriage of sweet, sour and savory.

The combo, to hear the chef tell it, was co-owner Colin McDonough’s idea. 

“Bacon, blue cheese, and beets are three flavors that always go well together,” the chef says. “So why not put them all on a burger?”

The dish begins the day before: The beets are first roasted in olive oil before being pickled in a bay-seasoned red wine vinegar solution. The resulting beet slices would be just as happy on a goat cheese salad as they are nestled alongside the perfectly medium-rare patty on a tender, butter-toasted potato sesame roll (Baco gets his from Gold Crust Bakery in Landover, Maryland). 

Cheese-wise, the chef prefers crumbled Maytag, a dense pungent blue cheese made in Iowa.

“It has good flavor, it’s versatile, and most importantly, it melts well,” he says.

The finishing touch is a bacon jam made with applewood-smoked bacon, whiskey and maple syrup. It’s a labor of love that slowly cooks on the stovetop for nearly an hour, but the result is well worth the wait. Luckily, this recipe makes more than enough for leftovers.

“I’d add leftover bacon jam to virtually any sandwich,” says the chef. “I mean, come on, it’s bacon jam.”

Boundary Stone Burgers

Serves 6.


  • 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 6 sesame seed potato roll burger buns
  • 6 6 oz. burger patties
  • 4 oz. melted butter
  • 6 ¼-inch-thick pickled red beets rounds (see recipe below)
  • 6 oz. blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup bacon jam (see recipe below)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the grill to medium heat to 350 degrees. Coat the onion slices in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the onions evenly on both sides until tender, and set aside.

2. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper, and grill to your desired temperature. While the burgers are cooking, brush melted butter on the burger buns and toast on the grill. When the burger patties are almost done cooking, top with grilled onions and blue cheese, and continue to cook until the blue cheese is melted.

3. Spread the desired amount of bacon jam onto burger buns, and top the bacon jam with a slice of pickled beet. Add the patty and serve.

Pickled red beets


  • 2 large red beets
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 bay leaf


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Coat the whole beets in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the beets in foil, and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the skin of the beet rubs off easily with a towel.

3. When the beets are cooked, drop them in ice water for 2 minutes to stop them from overcooking. Peel the beets by rubbing off the skin with a towel, then slice into ¼-inch rounds.

4. Add water, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar and bay leaf to a pot, and boil until the salt and sugar is dissolved. Pour the liquid over the beets, and chill in the fridge overnight.

For the bacon jam


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ large yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 lb. slab applewood-smoked bacon, medium diced
  • ¼ cup whiskey
  • ¼ cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. paprika


1. Slowly render the bacon in a pot on the stovetop over low heat. When halfway cooked, add the diced onions and garlic, and continue to cook on low heat while stirring every minute or so.

2. When the garlic and onions are nice and soft, strain out about half of the bacon fat. Add the other ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the bacon is falling apart.

3. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and chill until the mixture has a spreadable, paste-like consistency. After the jam has completely cooled, give it one more big stir before serving.


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