Dry Aged Pat LaFrieda Burgers w/White Cheddar & Special Sauce

You know what’s great about the term “Special Sauce”? It can be literally anything. This “special sauce” is actually a bacon and shallot mixture, reduced with balsamic vinegar, then mixed with mayo to make it a creamy sauce, perfect for topping off a dry-aged burger like these beauties from Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors.

Here’s the thing about dry aged burgers: they have a lot of unique flavor, so you don’t want to go the route of American Cheese. This is a distinguished burger and it requires a certain amount of sophistication. Enter: white cheddar.

You’ll notice I also didn’t pile on the toppings here, because the flavor of the Pat LaFrieda burger is really enough. You season generously with salt & pepper before grilling (on an actual grill, grill pan, or a flat top) and top with cheese during the last couple minutes. That’s really all it needs, but I LOVE this balsamic-bacon-onion-mayo-special sauce with it. Like, love.

Pro tip: take your burgers out of the fridge at least 20-30 mins before cooking. The burgers (and this goes for steak too) need to come to room temperature or will cook unevenly if they’re straight out of the fridge and into a hot pan. Just remember the formula: Cold Meat + Hot Pan = NO

Dry Aged Pat LaFrieda Burgers w/White Cheddar and Special Sauce

  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 (6-oz each) burger patties
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (for seasoning the burgers)
  • 4 slices white cheddar (or more if you like cheese)
  • 4 potato rolls, lightly toasted
  • Butter (optional – for buns)


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon and cook until almost crisp. Add the shallots and cook with the bacon for a few minutes until fragrant and translucent. Don’t let the shallots burn or brown too much!
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar to the shallots and bacon. It will bubble but don’t worry, that’s good. Add 1 tsp salt. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until the mixture reduces slightly and gets a bit syrupy. Remove from heat and pour the bacon-shallot mixture into a bowl. Set aside to cool. Once it’s cool, add the mayo and stir to combine. Done! Save for later.
  3. Heat a flat top skillet or a grill pan (I used a grill pan) over medium-high heat. While heating, season the burgers generously with salt and pepper. When nice and hot, add the burgers to the pan and listen for that classic sizzle. I cooked 2 burgers at a time because my grill pan isn’t that big. Cook 2-3 mins (for medium rare) and flip for another 2-3 mins. During the last minute or so, add the slices of cheese on top (now would also be a good time to toast those buns if you like them toasted).
  4. A trick I like to use for melting the cheese is to put a lid from a pot over the burgers. This sort of steams them and melts the cheese evenly in a beautiful fashion. You can actually buy a Cheese Melting Dome online. See what I mean and buy one from Amazon here. What a time to be alive.
  5. Remove the burgers from the grill or grill pan and let rest for a minute. Swipe buns with a dab of butter if you so choose, add the burger, then top with bacon-shallot balsamic mayo and close the bun. Voila, a juicy, dry-aged burger a steakhouse would be proud of.

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