Poor Man’s Steak au Poivre

Pairs well with:


Get cozy and get pouring. Our Merlot is the wine for long weekends and lengthy chats.


1/2 pound center cut bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 pound sliced Crimini mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1 tablespoon beef base
3 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chive
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons French onion dip
1 1/2 tablespoons beef base
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
12 slices of medium firm Italian bread sliced 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick
3 cups watercress



Prepare a medium hot charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium high.

To prepare mushroom sauce: Sauté bacon in a large oven proof skillet on grill. When most of the grease is rendered remove all but approximately 1 tablespoon of bacon grease reserving pulled grease. Put the skillet back on heat and add olive oil and chopped onions to bacon and sauté for two minutes. Add sliced mushrooms to bacon onion mixture and sauté until the onions and mushrooms brown. If mushrooms absorb bacon grease add back another 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. When mixture is browned add tomato paste and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add wine and beef base to sauté and reduce to 1/3 or gravy begins to tighten. Pull pan from heat and add Gorgonzola and butter and incorporate. Reserve.

To make horseradish sauce: Add mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, chive and lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Mix to incorporate. Reserve.

To make patties: Add onion dip, beef base, garlic and Worcestershire to a large mixing bowl and mix ingredients well. Add beef and mix without overworking. Separate meat into 6 equal sized balls and patty burgers. Using a mortar and pestle or a heavy skillet and zip lock baggy crack peppercorns and sprinkle evenly on all sides of the burgers.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Grill burger patties over direct heat until desired degree of doneness is achieved. About 4 to 5 minutes aside for medium. Remove burgers to plate and to rest.

Toast bread lightly on both sides. Gently warm mushroom sauce on grill if necessary. To assemble the burgers, place equal portions of the mushroom mixture on 6 slices of the Italian bread and top with patty. Distribute horseradish sauce over the remaining 6 slices of bread followed by equal portions of the watercress. Cover burgers and serve.