On the menu today are these delicious Peppercorn Crusted Burgers! All beef patties rolled in cracked peppercorns are grilled and topped with bacon, mushrooms and a dill pickle aioli.
Believe it or not, but this peppercorn crusted burger was originally supposed to be in the cookbook.
I know right? When sending in the first of a cookbook manuscript it’s totally normal and expected to have recipes that get pulled either by the author or the editor. Initially I was a little bummed that this recipe wouldn’t grace the pages of my book BUT that only meant it would grace the screen of your computer via the blog.
So I got over it real quick.
But the reason I was bummed is because this recipe is a loving nod to my husband.
If there’s one thing you should know about Pat, it’s that he puts black pepper on (literally) everything. From coney dogs to popcorn to pizza rolls. If I season his eggs or biscuits and sausage gravy with a normal amount of black pepper, he will circle back and blanket it with more.
It’s because of his black pepper addiction that I came up with the idea to pepper crust our burgers.
The burger patty itself is pretty simple:
2 pounds ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt and a little pepper. Nothing too fancy, as it should be. BUT after I’ve divided the burger mixture into fourths -yes that’s 1/2 pound a person!- and form the patties, I then roll the edge of each burger in freshly hand-cracked peppercorns. Giving it that distinct delicious flavor and that spicy peppercorn punch at the end.
Whether you grill or griddle your burger is totally up to you. I grilled mine outside on our Weber and right before pulling it off the grates, I top with with TWO kinds of cheese (thank you cheddar and Swiss).
The rest of the toppings are this:
Crispy thick-cut slices of applewood bacon, baby arugula for a little extra peppery punch and cremini mushrooms that are cooked in a little of the reserved bacon fat, garlic, thyme and simmered in beer (!!!) until they’re drunk with deliciousness.
OH and I whipped up a yummy dill pickle aioli.
I quickly made my own mayo from scratch and then mixed in minced pickles and a little juice from the pickle jar. This aioli is pretty stellar, but if your not into making your own mayo then swap out everything (but the pickles and juice) and substitute a cup of store-bought mayo. It’s not as smooth and creamy and delicious… but it would definitely work.
Needless to say my pepper-loving husband enjoyed this mammoth burger, which really isn’t that surprising; big burger, lots of pepper… BACON, I mean c’mon?! But he did say that everything together was outstanding and that I could peppercorn crust his burger any day. Wait.
Malloree, my almost twelve-year-old and somewhat picky eater, inhaled her burger and rarely does she ever finish a whole regular sized burger (she’s so tiny!) and she finished all but one bite!
That’s my girl.
Cracked Peppercorn Crusted Burgers with Dill Pickle Aioli
FOR THE DILL PICKLE AIOLI:
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup finely diced dill pickle, (about 2 spears)
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
FOR THE BURGERS:
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck, 80/20
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons coarse cracked black peppercorns
- 4 slices baby Swiss cheese slices
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese slices
- 8 slices thick-cut applewood bacon, cooked until crispy
- baby arugula
- Brioche or pretzel hamburger buns
FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
- 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat
- 8 ounces cremini, baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4 of an inch thick
- 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed through a garlic press
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
- 1/4 cup beer, I used lager
- 1 pinch of kosher salt
- In a small food processor (I use my mini!) add the whole egg and egg yolk, Dijon, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine before, with the processor on and running, VERY slowly pouring in the grapeseed oil.
- Transfer the mayo to a bowl and add the minced pickle and stir in the pickle juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a large bowl add the ground chuck, Worcestershire, salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Use a fork to mix until combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the hamburger into 4 equal sections and use your hands to form the meat mixture into patties. Roll the edges of the burger patties in the cracked peppercorns.*
- Meanwhile cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and save or discard the rest. Heat over medium-low and add in the sliced mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes before increasing the heat to medium. Add in the beer and cook, stirring occasionally until most of the beer has reduced and has been absorbed by the mushrooms. The mushrooms should start to brown up a bit. Keep them warm on low heat.
- Preheat your grill or griddle to 400 degrees and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side or until the burgers are cooked to your preference. Top with cheese and grill until just starting to melt.
- I like to toast my hamburger buns, smear the pickle aioli on the bottom buns, then add the burger patties, bacon, arugula, mushrooms.
- *NOTE: I double bagged peppercorns and beat them senseless with the flat side of my meat tenderizer until small to medium granules were left. I pour the cracked pepper onto a shallow plate so it's easy to roll the edge of the burgers.
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