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Burgers Hache with Anchovies, Lemon and Butter Sauce

These are the flavors I remember so well from the time I spent living and learning about food in Nice in the 70s. The sauce is a traditional one and used mostly for steak, but translates just as well to ground beef. I use organic beef so it can be safely grilled to medium-rare, my preference. But I also make them medium-done for guests who tell me they prefer it.


2 teaspoons soft unsalted butter, plus 8 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons
1 rounded tablespoon minced shallots
5 tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Burgers: 2 pounds organic, hormone-free boneless beef chuck80/20% lean to fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons red wine
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
6 round crusty French rolls, split and toasted
Extra virgin olive oil


Preheat a gas grill to high heat on one side and medium-high heat on the other. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add shallots, white wine and tarragon. Boil until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Transfer the mixture to a blender and set aside to cool. Add anchovies, garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Blend until thick and smooth; add the remaining 8 plus 3 tablespoons of butter and blend for 2 minutes more. Place in a bowl, cover and reserve. Put the beef through the fine blade of a meat grinder, add red wine, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide into 6 portions and shape each into a burger at least 1-inch thick and higher around the sides than in the middle. Brush the grill rack with oil and place the burgers on it, cover, and grill until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the burgers and continue grilling until medium-rare or medium done, or preference, about 4 minutes longer. While burgers are cooking, arrange rolls, cut sides down, on medium-high heat and toast lightly. Spread cut sides of rolls with olive oil, add a burger to each bottom half, add a spoonful of sauce, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and the roll top. Serve at once.


Makes 6 big burgers.