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)
- 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!
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.