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Fat and Juicy Mushroom Burger

When I was young my father was in the military. He was stationed in Germany when I was about 10, and we did some traveling. When we visited Switzerland, I had a dish, I don't remember exactly what it was, but it had sautéed mushrooms and almonds in it. Oh my goodness!! My tastebuds exploded. In the intervening years I have combined these ingredients many times, but I think this one has some serious potential.


2 lbs ground sirloin, extremely cold
2 T melted butter
6 - 3/4 oz wedges Brie cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c slivered almonds
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
14 - 16 oz Crimini or baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 - 3 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 T honey
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T red wine vinegar
2 - 3 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
6 Burger buns, Semolina buns if available
EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
garlic cloves, peeled and ends trimmed
romaine lettuce leaves, cut to fit buns


Spread the cold ground beef out in a bowl, or cookie sheet. Sprinkle the melted butter over the meat. DO NOT pour the butter in one spot - you want to distribute it evenly. When the butter hits the cold beef it will solidify, and you want very thin slivers of butter as evenly distributed as possible. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Divide into 12 even patties. Place a wedge of Brie on a patty, and cover with a second patty. Seal the edges well. Keep patties as cold as possible.

Melt 1/2 T butter in a small frying pan (this can be done over a hot grill) and add the almonds. Toast the almonds lightly, and remove to a bowl. Add butter and onions to the pan and cook slowly till the onions are caramelized. Move to the bowl with the almonds. Add some more butter to the pan and add mushrooms. Cook over high heat till the mushrooms take on good color, then add salt and pepper to taste. Add to almonds and onions in the bowl, and mix.

In a small bowl whisk together a vinaigrette using the honey, Dijon, vinegar, EVOO and salt and pepper. I like my vinaigrette tangy, but add oil or honey to your taste.

Heat grill to high if using a gas grill. Split buns, brush with EVOO, and toast briefly. Rub toasted surfaces with garlic, bruschetta style. Grill burgers 5 - 7 minutes per side, depending on preferred doneness. Right before building the burgers, dip the romaine into the vinaigrette.

To build burgers: Place romaine on bun bottom, then burger, mushroom, onion, almond mixture, top with bun lid.


I know that we live in a health conscious world, and I do not usually advocate adding butter to my burgers, but in this case it adds so much flavor, I have made an exception. In deference to my cholesterol level I am using as lean a cut of beef as possible, choosing sirloin as more flavorful than perhaps leaner round.