RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Bistro Burger Extraordinary (Succulent Sirloin Burgers with Lemon/Dill Aioli, Sweet Leek/Apple Glaze, and Creamy/Melted Brie/Red Bell Pepper Spread

Recently, my culinary focus has been on "all things French." (I choose countries/continents on a monthly basis in which to study food, learn about different cultures, and/or to master the preparation of a new-to-me cuisine.) A great burger starts with quality beef, and when people think of French cuisine, they think of quality and freshness. A burger should be moist and juicy. The beef must stand out; taste bold, and yet, still "be a burger." This sophisticated burger recipe captures both the simplicity of a good burger, as well as the deliciously rich flavors and ingredients used in French cooking--much like a corner French Bistro would taste--simple yet elegant. Bon Appetite!


Patties Ingredients:
2 pounds freshly ground sirloin
3 tablespoons shallots; finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic; minced or pressed
¼ cup beef broth
2 tablespoons butter; softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Lemon/Dill Aioli Ingredients:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons garlic; minced or pressed
1 teaspoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons dill
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
Leek/Apple Glaze Ingredients:
1 ½ cups leeks; cleaned; coarsely chopped
2 small gala apples; cored; coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon garlic; minced or pressed
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup apple jelly
Brie/Red Bell Pepper Cheese Spread Ingredients:
1 ½ cups softened brie cheese
2 tablespoons cream or half and half
3 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
salt to taste
Kaiser Roll Ingredients:
6 poppy seed Kaiser rolls; split into halves
½ cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons garlic; minced or pressed
pinch of salt
Greens Ingredients:
12 leaves Bib lettuce
6 large tomato slices; approximately ¼” thick
Other Ingredients/Tools:
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil; for brushing rack on grill
1 disposable aluminum bread loaf pan (9 inch)
aluminum foil
plastic wrap
cooking brush
wire whisk


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.

To make the patties, place ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine shallots, garlic, beef broth, softened butter, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Using a fork, gently fold buttery seasonings into ground sirloin until meat is evenly flavored/coated. Cover and marinate 5 minutes. Shape into 6 patties to fit the Kaiser roll size. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To prepare the aioli, use a small mixing bowl to combine mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, olive oil, dill, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To prepare the glaze, use a medium-sized mixing bowl to combine leeks, apples, olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt, and jelly. Stir well to distribute jelly evenly throughout the mixture. Pour mixture into an aluminum foil loaf pan. Seal with aluminum foil and set aside.

To prepare the cheese spread, combine softened brie and cream in a medium bowl. Stir-- using a fork or wire whisk--to a creamy consistency. Salt to taste. Use a fork to gently fold in red bell pepper. (This will avoid turning the cheese pink.) Cover and set aside.

To prepare the rolls, use a small mixing bowl to combine olive oil, garlic, and salt. Stir well. Generously brush the inside of each roll with oil. Cover and set aside until ready to grill.

Keep greens covered and chilled until ready to serve.

When the grill is ready, brush the rack with vegetable oil. Place aluminum loaf pan with glaze ingredients in the center of grill rack. Place the patties around the loaf pan. Cover and cook the burgers while cooking the glaze.

Cook glaze in the center of the grill for approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until mixture is of a jam consistency. (Be sure to stir two or three times during the cooking process and reseal foil tightly after each stir.)

Turn burgers once only while cooking. (Cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium burgers; slightly longer for a well-done preference.) Generously spread brie cheese on top of each burger approximately one minute before removing burgers for assembly. (Cheese spread melts quickly.) Continue to check glaze for doneness.

Remove patties from grill. Remove glaze from grill. Allow glaze to cool slightly.

Lightly toast the rolls by placing them, oiled side down, onto the grill rack for approximately 1 to 1 ½ minutes.

To assemble the burgers, spread equal portions of warm leek/apple glaze on each roll bottom, followed by a cheese topped patty. Next add 2 lettuce leaves per patty followed by a slice of tomato. Spread equal portions of aioli on the inside portion of each roll top. Add roll tops and serve.


This recipe limits the number of foods needing to be cooked on the grill. This gives you time to be sure that your coals are truly at a medium heat. Be sure that the burger,because it has butter in the ingredients--does not smoke when it is placed onto the grill. Should this occur, remove the beef for a bit, give your coals a tad more firing time; then kick back, and enjoy a glass of Sutter Home wine!