Weekly Winner – Sometimes You Just Need a Burger

There comes a time in everyone’s life (well, at least mine and hubby’s) when all that will do is a burger.  A big, juicy, luscious, burger.  We don’t make a lot of burgers at home simply because we are surrounded by amazing burger joints that offer instant gratification.  But this recipe for Bacon Hamburgers with Catalina Dressing intrigued me.  OK, I’ll admit it – it was the bacon.  And not bacon on the burger, but bacon IN the burger!

And then there’s the sauce.  They call it Catalina, but it tasted more interesting than that.  It was deep and earthy — and worth the extra steps.  Do not be tempted to add anything else to this burger than what is called for.  It truly does not need it!  I got the recipe from Food & Wine magazine and yes, we will be making it again!

Bacon Hamburgers with Catalina Dressing

Serves 4


1 large beefsteak tomato, halved crosswise and seeded

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for rubbing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 small garlic clove, chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Hot sauce

1/2 pound sliced bacon, coarsely chopped and frozen for 15 minutes

1 pound ground beef chuck

Butter, for spreading

4 sesame-topped hamburger buns, split and toasted

4 thick slices of sweet onion


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Put the tomato in a small baking dish and rub with oil. Turn the halves cut side down and bake for 20 minutes, until they start to soften. Let cool, then peel and chop the tomato. Transfer to a blender; add the vinegar, paprika, tomato paste, garlic, sugar and the 1/4 cup of oil and blend. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the bacon until very finely chopped. In a large bowl, using your hands, blend the ground chuck with the bacon. Form the mixture into 4 patties.
  3. Heat a large skillet. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until well-browned on the outside and barely pink in the center, 4 minutes per side. Butter the buns and place an onion slice on the bottom halves. Top with the burgers and some dressing, close the burgers and serve.