Aida Mollenkamp is a California-based food travel expert and author. You can find her online at Salt & Wind, a food and travel resource for those who want to travel in good taste.

Father's Day Recipe: 50/50 Burgers with Whiskey Onions and Blue Cheese

Hey, friends. Aida from Salt & Wind here to share one of my all-time favorite Father’s Day recipes. As soon as I think of Father’s Day, I can’t help but immediately think of ties, classic cocktails, and grilled food. Okay, I know that’s an image that’s a bit more Don Draper than modern dad, but Father’s Day always makes me nostalgic like that.

And if Don Draper were to have a burger, it would not hold back. I mean, he lived in an era of three hour long, prime rib and two martini lunches. An era when meat and potatoes were basically health food, and 5 o’clock meant a stiff cocktail was in order. So, for Father’s Day, I say we give that era a nod. Heck, Father’s Day is the one time a year that you get to truly tip your hat to dad, and make him feel like the bee’s knees. And, when it comes to food, that means no-holds-barred recipes like this 50/50 Burger with Whiskey Onions and Blue Cheese.

Have you ever had a 50/50 burger? It’s pretty much the most over-the-top burger because it’s 50% ground meat and 50% bacon. Yup, there’s no kidding around with a burger like that. The key is to buy super lean ground meat (look for only 10% fat) and then let the bacon do the rest. Okay, there’s actually one more trick to it: hand chop some of the bacon and grind the rest so that you have a mix of big bites of bacon throughout the burger. And if you’re going to go 50/50 on the burger, you might as well finish it off right with whiskey caramelized onions, a sweet blue cheese, and a spicy arugula. The result is this one part gruff, one part dapper burger that I think suits dad just right.

50/50 Burger with Whiskey Onions and Blue Cheese

Makes: 4 servings // About 1/2 cup puree

Total Time: 45 minutes

Hands-On Time: 20 minutes

Get the recipe for these Father's Day burgers with whiskey onions and blue cheese


For the onions:

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ounce of whiskey

For the burger:

  • 8 ounces bacon, frozen 15 minutes before using
  • 8 ounces ground beef (use something lean like a 90/10 mix)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 burger buns, toasted
  • mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces crumbed blue cheese
  • 3 large handfuls baby arugula


For the onions:

1. Heat the oil and butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and stir to coat.

2. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are softened and golden brown, at least 20 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the stove, add the whiskey, stir to coat and return to the stove over medium heat.

4. Cook just until the alcohol smell is cooked off then set aside. (Onions can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store refrigerated in an airtight container and let come to room temperature before using.)

For the burger:

1. Take briefly frozen bacon and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. Place half of the bacon in a food processor and process until the bacon is ground up. Combine the ground bacon with the ground meat, and the remaining chopped bacon in a large bowl. Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper and mix until just combined.

2. Divide mixture into 6, then form each part into a patty. Place patties between pieces of wax or parchment paper then place in the refrigerator briefly before cooking. (Patties can be formed up to 1 day ahead and stored refrigerated in an airtight container or frozen for up to 1 month.)

3. Rub a grill pan with an oiled paper towel then heat a to medium-high heat.

4. Place 2 to 3 patties onto the grill pan (don’t overcrowd the pan!) and grill for 5 to 7 minute on each side. When you flip the burgers, add some blue cheese then cover the pan to continue cooking so the cheese melts.

5. Repeat with remaining patties and cheese. Mix together equal parts mayonnaise and mustard to create a quick mayonnaise-mustard mix.

6. To assemble, smear a bit of the mayonnaise-mustard mixture on the bottom of a bun, top with a spoonful of onions, a patty, some arugula and close.

The perfect recipe for Father's Day: 50/50 Burgers with Whiskey Onions and Blue Cheese

So, do tell, how are you going to pamper your dad this Father’s Day?

Let me know in the comments!

Xoxo, Aida

Salt & Wind

Photos: Salt & Wind