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The Jelly Biafra

The Jelly Biafra- my entry for the Riot Fest Burger contest- features a homemade sweet and spicy red pepper jam, bacon, melted havarti, and red onions sitting decadently atop two butter-toasted onion rolls!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people


For The Red Pepper Jelly:

  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 red fresno chile
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

For the Burgers:

  • 1/2 lb 100% Grass-fed Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp worcester sauce
  • 2 onion rolls
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 slices havarti cheese
  • 1 recipe red pepper jelly (see above)
  • sliced red onion


To Make the Red Pepper Jelly:

  1. Begin by making the red pepper jelly. Roughly chop the bell pepper and fresno. Add to a blender or food processor, along with the apple cider vinegar.

  2. Blend / process until smooth.

  3. Pour the blended mixture into a small pot. Add sugar and salt, and heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.

  4. Boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by more than half and is starting to take on a jelly-like consistancy. It will seem a little runny now, but it will set in the fridge.

  5. Pour into a ceramic bowl or other glass container. Place in the fridge to solidify while you prepare the burgers.

To Prepare the Burgers:

  1. Making sure to manipulate the meat as little as possible (keeping that grind intact!), place ground beef in a bowl and coat evenly with worcester. Let the meat sit at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.

  2. In a medium pan, cook bacon to your desired level of doneness. I would recommend going a little crispier than you normally would.

  3. In a separate, large cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan, melt butter over medium heat. Break your onion rolls in half and place them, face down, in the melted butter. Let them toast for a minute or two, until golden brown.

  4. Remove onion rolls from the butter and set them aside. Turn your heat up to high and let your pan get blazing hot. Be patient. You want to see it slightly smoking.

  5. Roll your ground beef into two evenly-sized balls, and place into your ripping hot pan. IMMEDIATELY use another pot or another even surface to firmly press your patties down until they are flat. Salt and pepper the top to taste.

  6. Cook, undisturbed, for about 1.5 minutes. Flip. If it sticks to the pan, it's not ready to flip yet.

  7. Salt and pepper this side as well. Add a slice of havarti cheese, and cook for another minute or so, until cheese has melted and a thermometer reads 140-145 for the Minor Threat- medium rare.

  8. Assemble your burger: spread jam evenly between the two tops on the onion rolls. Place burger patty on the bottom bun, followed by red onions, followed by bacon. Place top buns on and get ready for that heady, heady jam.