Black Pepper Bistro Burger
Bleu Cheese Spread:
1/3 c. + 1 T. cream cheese, softened
3 T. mayonnaise
3 T. bleu cheese crumbles
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
1 T. scallions, thinly sliced (green part only)
1/2 T. fresh parsley, minced
2 lbs. ground chuck
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 T. grated horseradish
1/2 T. soy sauce
1/2 T. mesquite liquid smoke
1 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. coarsely ground black pepper
Whiskey Pepper Mushrooms:
12 slices bacon
4 cloves garlic, crushed with the flat side of a knife
3 scallions, sliced in half and crushed with the flat side of a knife
3 sprigs fresh thyme
6 c. mushrooms, sliced
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. black pepper
1 c. low sodium beef broth
1/3 c. whiskey (recommended: Jameson Irish Whiskey)
Nonstick cooking spray, for cast iron skillets
6 good quality kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, split
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
To make the bleu cheese spread, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, bleu cheese, worcestershire, scallions and parsley. Mix well, cover, and chill.
To make the patties, combine ground beef, worcestershire, horseradish, soy sauce, liquid smoke, garlic powder, and salt. Shape into 6 bun-sized patties. Pour cracked black pepper evenly into a shallow pan or tray. Place patties on the pepper and gently press into the meat, so it sticks and creates a crust. Repeat for the second side, redistributing the pepper in the tray as necessary. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
For the mushrooms, heat a large skillet over the preheated grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm. Drain the bacon fat from the skillet, leaving about 1/4 cup. Add the crushed garlic and scallions, and thyme. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beef broth and whiskey and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Discard the garlic cloves, scallions and thyme. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and cover to keep warm.
When the grill is ready, liberally spray 2 large cast iron skillets with nonstick cooking spray and place on the grill racks to preheat. Place patties in the skillets and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until a crust forms. Flip the patties and continue cooking to your desired doneness. During the last few minutes of cooking, lightly toast the kaiser rolls.
To assemble, spread approximately 1 tablespoon of the bleu cheese spread on the bottom half of the roll, followed by 2 slices of bacon (crumbled), the black pepper crusted patties, and an equal portion of the mushrooms. Cover with the roll top and serve.