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Cracked Peppercorn Crusted Burgers with Dill Pickle Aioli

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Inspired by my husbands love for black pepper, the edge of these burgers are crusted in cracked black peppercorns, and topped with cheddar and Swiss cheese, thick-cut bacon, arugula and mushrooms cooked in a little reserved bacon fat, garlic, thyme and BEER! One word: outstanding!
Course Mains & Entrees
Cuisine American
Keyword black pepper, burgers, grilled, peppercorn
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 1488
Author Laurie McNamara



  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.


Calories: 1488kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 134g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 43g | Monounsaturated Fat: 42g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 322mg | Sodium: 1725mg | Potassium: 1199mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 375mg | Iron: 7mg