Gaines Some Burger Points

I’m still dreaming of that Gaines Brother Burger from Magnolia Table I had a little while ago. It sounds simple up front, but this burger is anything but simple. Joanna Gaines manages to take the pervasive “diner burger” and class it up a bit. The last time I ordered mine with Bacon-Onion Drip Jam and it was magnificent, but I fully intent to order it with the Jalapeño Drip Jam upon my next excursion to Waco…

For Christmas this past year, one of my sweet sisters-in-law gave me a copy of Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Table cookbook. Thankfully, thankfully, the recipe (in all forms) was included! And though the fixins are a little classier, the preparation is yet wholesomely simpler. The end result is a burger that seems so much like home, but bears complex flavor yet. No average, boring burgers here.

The part that is “home” is that the burgers are flame-licked on a hot grill. The part that is elevated is that instead of your everyday American cheese, the burger is crested with Gruyère. The mild, nuttiness of Gruyère isn’t as assertive as my usual sharp cheddar go-to, but still offers a sophisticated old-world flavor to excite the senses. It’s generally a little timid for my enjoyment, save by itself, but a nice occasional alteration.

According to the recipe, each cheesy patty is to rest upon a jam-sweetened, tomato-laden bun base and the arugula is to grace the top just under the bun-cap. We instead opted to have the peppery arugula serve as the mattress for the grilled goodness and revert the drippy, sticky sweetness grace the capstone to this messy, lovely thing I can’t get out of my head.

The really time-consuming part was the Bacon-Tomato Jam. That in itself took OVER. AN. HOUR. And it’s supposed to rest a week prior to serving. We didn’t let it rest a week prior to creating this recipe, but it did give me a new respect for Jo. How one lets that bacony goodness just languish for a week is beyond me.

Depending on the type of bacon you use, you can influence the type of jam you turn out. To balance the piquancy of the arugula, we elected to use smoked bacon. However, you could equally ramp up the spice by using peppered bacon instead. I would advise against using any sweetened bacon as there is plenty of brown sugar and macerated tomatoes in the jam to make it sweet enough for anyone and everyone.

This burger will get you good and messy, so be sure to have plenty of napkins on standby! What’s one of your favorite messy burger concoctions?


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