Ever have a hard time deciding between bacon cheeseburgers and pizza? Tough decision, right? Tonight we’re making the ultimate compromise combining our favorite cheeseburger fixin‘s and ready-to-make pizza crust.
My boys have always loved bacon. I don’t think any of them will ever make good vegetarians for this reason alone. Bacon + burgers makes them even happier. Today I am changing it up a bit and using homemade bacon jam as the sauce for pizza, topping it with chunks of caramelized ground beef, mozzarella and Gruyere cheeses, then topped with peppery baby arugula and vine ripe tomatoes. Then, drizzled with balsamic glaze and Hot Honey. Every single bite is an amazing combination of flavors and textures.
There are two things that go great with this meal. First, a glass of portugese red wine brings out the buttery cheese flavors deliciously. The shelves are stocked at Heinen’s with wines from Portugal. We enjoyed CRASTO Superior red Douro 2014. Aged for 12 months in French Oak. With flavors of wild berry and hints of cocoa, it’s beautifully balanced and perfectly complements grilled meats and cheeses.
Second, Have you tried hot honey? On a recent trip to Washington D.C. my son and I ordered grilled cheese sandwiches from Ooey, Gooey Crispy in Union Market. (The name says it all.) They serve their grilled cheese sandwiches with a side of Mike’s Hot Honey from NYC. Hot Honey is a chili pepper-infused honey. It is unbelievable with melted cheese and I am now putting it on literally everything. Go get some!!
For the Bacon Jam
- 1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/4 inch wide pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 2 large vine ripened tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- In a cast iron or other heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium high heat, stirring often, until crispy, about 10 minutes. Line a large plate with paper towels and transfer the bacon to the paper towels to drain.
- Pour the grease out of the skillet and return it to medium high heat. Add the pork belly and Frey on all sides until crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until well browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the reserved bacon and pork belly, tomatoes, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is flavorful and code to the back of a spoon, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly before using.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
For The Pizza
- Ready made pizza dough (2 packages)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese sliced.
- 8 ounces of Gruyere cheese Shredded
- 5 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved.
- 1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic glaze
- 1/4 cup hot honey optional
- 1 1/2 cups bacon jam (see recipe above).
Preheat oven to 450°F
- Let your pizza dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile add olive oil to the skillet.Brown your hamburger. I like to make a giant hamburger patty the size of my pan pressing it into the pan very thin and let it get really caramelized on one side. Once it gets a nice searing caramelization I break it into chunks and toss it around until all is cooked through. This gives you some little caramelized bits on your burger that add texture and great flavor.
- On a floured surface roll the pizza dough out to your desired size and shape.
- Spread 1/4 cup bacon jam on to the pizza dough.
- Add crumbled burger, add slices of mozzarella cheese and Gruyere cheese.
- Cook until the cheese is melted and the dough is toasty brown, about 10 minutes. Once out of the oven top with arugula fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of either hot honey or balsamic glaze.