Lemons Lemons are one of my favorite flavor enhancers but you need to be careful of the white pith. If you cook the pith, it turns very bitter. Cooking the rind or pulp is fine but never use the pith or seeds. I remember discovering this disturbing fact cooking chicken piccata for the first time. I thought I could enhance the flavor by cooking lemon slices in the sauce but instead I got a bitter taste I couldn't correct with sugar.
My Favorite Pan My favorite pan is a twenty dollar cast iron pan. I remember vividly how my step-father coveted his iron pan and warned us about not using soap to clean it. Seasoned and maintained properly, an iron pan can last forever. It is better than any non stick pan and far more durable. It's thick base holds heat better than any pan in my arsenal and prevents food from burning by dispersing the heat.
Caramelized onions will bump your burger up a notch with the deep roasted sweetness that comes from slow cooking. Add bacon and now you have sweet and salty harmoniously working together to heighten your burger to insane levels never achieved previously in your culinary career. Must be hard, right? Caramelized onions might take an hour or so to complete but patience is a better work describing the process.
Slicing your onions evenly ensures they are all equally caramelized. The best way to accomplish this is to cut the onion in half and then slice in wedges. Instead of slicing vertically, slice at an angle towards the center. While the onions are not exactly the same size, they are much closer than any other method. What is gone are the wide edge pieces that always look peculiar and don't cook at the same speed.
While you are perfecting your onion skills, dice the bacon and cook on medium till it is crispy. Use the same thick pan you will be using to caramelizes the onions as the oil from the bacon will be kept for flavor and prevent the onions from sticking to the pan.
Once the bacon is crispy, add the onion slices and cook. Store frequently at this temperature. After 10 minutes, turn the temperature to low and add salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Cook for approximately an hour until the onions are a deep golden to dark brown, depending on the level caramelization you desire. I have chosen a nice golden brown for this recipe.
Make the onions ahead of time to create a more relaxed atmosphere in your kitchen. They will keep fine for hours unheated under a cover. You can even store them in the fridge if you want to make them the night before but I'm all about freshness so I prefer cooking them at the time they will be eaten.