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Peppercorn Beef Burgers with Rosemary and Garlic Mushrooms

My family loves pepper, so it is always plentiful in the house. My goal in this recipe was to combine the right ingredients to make a burger taste really special, as if you might be eating steak instead. I’m a big fan of butter and putting it inside the burgers adds not only taste, but also a moistness that can’t be duplicated with any other ingredient.


Rosemary and Garlic Mushrooms:
10 large mushrooms, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
½ cup chopped shallots
3 tablespoons Sutter Home Merlot
2 tablespoons thyme
½ cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 equal pieces
1 tablespoon coarsely ground peppercorn spice medley
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 tablespoons butter, softened
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 romaine lettuce leaves


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Combine mushrooms, garlic and rosemary in a small bowl. Place mixture in center of an 18-inch piece of heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle with butter pieces. Close and seal foil around mixture and set aside. To make the patties, combine the shallots, wine, thyme, cheese, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl; add ground chuck and sirloin. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions to fit the rolls. Place a piece of butter in the center of 6 patties. Top with remaining patties and pinch edges to seal. Sprinkle both sides of patties with ground peppercorns, pressing gently to adhere. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and grill, covered, 1 ½ minutes on each side to sear. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and grill 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. Place foil packet on grill after flipping burgers and cook until burgers are done. During the last few minutes of cooking, spread butter on cut sides of rolls; place on outer edges of grill rack cut side down, to toast slightly. To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a patty and an equal portion of the mushroom topping. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers