farley burger

There is a steak house in my town that serves up the best green chile wontons, incredible peppered rib eyes, and some seriously fantastic burgers.  One of their specialty burgers, the Farley burger, is maybe my favorite thing on the menu.  The Farley burger has a quarter pound of beef that’s slathered in barbecue sauce, grilled to perfection, and then it’s topped with crisp bacon, cheddar cheese, and grilled onions.  

Okay, yes, everything with bacon is amazing.  I could pile bacon on top of cardboard and call it a great meal.  But, I will say the combination of the slightly sweet barbecue sauce with the salty and savory bacon make a happy duo.  And while the traditional Farley burger boasts a heap of grilled onions on top, I decided to call a spade a spade (this isn’t a healthy meal), and fry the onion strips in the leftover bacon grease.  Aaaa-maaa-zing. 

I’m going to make the recipe super simple to follow, in case you want to make some short cuts, but obviously, the more you make homemade, the better the recipe will taste, and the better for you it will be! 


(Serves 1 ogre, 2 hungry people, 4 light eaters, or 8 picky kids)

  • 4 hamburger patties
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 8 pieces of bacon, cooked and crisp
  • 1/2 onion, cut in half and sliced into thin strips
  • 4 slices of cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns 

Baste the raw hamburger patties with barbecue sauce, and keep refrigerated until ready to cook.  Cook bacon in a pan in batches (if necessary), until crisp and cooked through.  Remove and lay on a papertowel-lined plate.  In the same pan, pour out bacon grease into a safe container, leaving only 2 tbsp in the pan, and then fry the onion strips in the bacon grease, until crispy and translucent.  This takes 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the heat of the grease. 

Meanwhile, turn your grill or grill pan to medium-high, and cook the barbecue-basted burgers, until desired doneness.  Top with bacon, and then cheese and close grill, or place a lid on the grill pan, until cheese is melted.  

To assemble the burger: Place hamburger patty on the whole wheat bun, and top with grilled onions.  You can use a little more barbecue sauce on the hamburger bun, and top with lettuce and tomato, if desired. 

Barbecue, Bacon and Cheddar Burger

One more random note: I have a sort of love/hate relationship with onions.  I love onion powder, I love overly cooked (read: soft) onions in my tomato sauces and salsas, but you will never catch me eating a raw onion.  Ever.  I actually couldn’t even stomach long stringy cooked onions, until about 2 weeks ago.  

Some family friends invited us to their home for dinner, and they sauteed onion strips and mushrooms in butter and olive oil.  Out of courtesy to the chef, I tried the onions, and ooooooh-my-life-changed.  Maybe it’s the lucky age of 29, with my more experienced palate, or more likely, it was the talent of the chef, but those were the best damn onions I have ever had in my life.  

The onions on this burger are inspired by those.  It’s life changing, folks. 

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