The French Au Poivre Burger

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


12 ounces baby portabella mushrooms
12 asparagus
2 medium sweet Vidalia onions
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne
½ tablespoon dried mustard
10 ounces evaporated milk
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
3 pounds ground sirloin
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
Vegetable oil for frying
12 pieces thick cut peppercorn bacon
½ cup cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
1 ½ cup heavy cream
3 ounces boursin cheese
6 onion burger buns


Wash the vegetables and prep. To prep slice mushrooms into pieces, slice asparagus once vertically, and slice onion into 1/8″ slices and then cut in half again. Coat the asparagus with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Prepare the flour mixture for onion straws by combining flour, paprika, dried mustard, and cayenne on a baking sheet. Pour evaporated milk into separate bowl and add onions. Set aside. The onions will be battered and fried later.

Prepare coals and allow them to heat. While the grill is heating, coarsely crush whole peppercorns with the back of a cast iron skillet. Once peppercorns are crushed, preheat the cast iron skillet on the grill over coals. Spread crushed peppercorns evenly over flat surface such as a plate or cutting board. Form the ground sirloin into ½ lb patties. Lightly salt each side with kosher salt and then press each side of the patty onto crushed peppercorns to coat. Set aside.

When skillet becomes hot, add butter and 1tablespoon olive oil. When butter melts, sauté mushrooms and salt to taste and cook 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and cover mushrooms to keep warm.

Preheat 2″ of vegetable oil in saucepan to 375-400 degrees F to fry the onions. While the frying oil preheats, add 6 pieces of bacon to skillet and cook 3-5 minutes on each side until crisp. Repeat process for remaining 6 pieces.

Frying the onions will be a double battered process. Do this by removing the onions from the evaporated milk and coat in flour mixture. Dip back in evaporated milk and coat a 2nd time in flour mixture. Transfer straight to frying oil once heated. Fry onions in batches for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Continue to turn bacon on the skillet while the onions fry. Remove the bacon and onions to paper towels to dry. Pour off excess fat from skillet but do not scrape clean.

Place the patties on the grill over indirect heat and cook 5-6 minutes on each side.
Remove skillet from heat and add cognac. Ignite the alcohol and gently shake skillet to reduce the flame by burning off the alcohol. Return skillet to grill over medium heat and whisk reduced cognac to a dark amber color for about 5 minutes, until burgers need to be flipped. Flip the burgers, place asparagus on grill and add cream to the reduced cognac in skillet over med heat. Cook the asparagus and cream for 5 minutes. Stir the cream with whisk as it begins to bubble. In the last two minutes of grilling, melt the boursin cheese on the burgers and toast the buns. Also add an additional teaspoon of cognac to cream for additional flavor.

Remove buns and begin to assemble. First place 4 halves of grilled asparagus on bottom bun, followed by two pieces of bacon. Add burgers to skillet, spread boursin cheese over burger with the back of a spoon, and place over the bacon. Add the sautéed mushrooms to the top of burger, spoon cognac cream sauce over burger and top with fried onions. Place on top bun, serve, and enjoy.