Black Peppered Burgers with Aged Cheddar, Horseradish Mayonnaise and Watercress

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.


1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
1 T whole grain mustard
2 T prepared horseradish, drained
Kosher salt, divided (some for the mayonnaise and some for the burgers)
1 lb ground chuck
1 lb ground sirloin
1-1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper, divided
12 slices aged Cheddar cheese
1 bunch watercress, washed and dried
6 large croissants, halved
Canola oil



1. Whisk together, in a small bowl, the mayonnaise and horseradish. Season with kosher salt, to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 2. Preheat a gas grill on high for 15 minutes. 3. Lightly brush the cut-sides of each croissant with some canola oil and set aside. 4. Loosely combine the ground chuck with the ground sirloin in a large bowl. Form the meat into six (6) equal-sized burgers (about 1/3 pound each). Press down the center of each patty with your thumb to form a depression that is roughly the same thickness as the burgers' edges. Rub each patty lightly with canola oil and season with kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. 5. Place the patties on the grill, dimpled-side up and cook for 5-7 minutes. Turn and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from the grill and set aside. 6. After the first turn of the burgers, place the croissants, cut-side down, on the grill, and let cook until nicely toasted. Remove from the grill and lie them on a flat surface, cut-sides up. Top each croissant half with one slice of cheese (one on each top half and one on each bottom half). Place one burger on top of each of six of the croissant bottoms, then cover with the tops and cheese to make six (6) sandwiches. 7. Wrap each burger in foil, place back on the grill and cook for one (1) minute on each side. 8. Remove burgers from the grill; remove the foil, discarding the foil. Lift the top of each croissant from each sandwich and spread with 1-2 large tablespoons of the Horseradish Mayonnaise mixture. Top with a few sprigs of watercress, re-cover with the croissant top half and serve.