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Viva La France!! Burgers

This burger is French food at it’s essence. The burger itself is very simple and pure: ground chuck, shallot, rosemary, fleur de sel, and freshly ground black pepper. Top that with some lardons (a type of French bacon—or you can use diced pancetta as a replacement) and you really are getting somewhere. Then you have a Tarragon Dijon mayonnaise which has many components that France is famous for such as Dijon mustard, tarragon, and some champagne vinegar. Of course you also need a cheese and I chose brie as an extremely delicious, creamy French cheese that would perfectly complement all of the flavors in this burger. Of course you need some greens so I went with baby arugula, which is a popular French lettuce. Finish it all off by putting it on a buttery, toasted brioche bun and I think that you really have many of the great tastes of France all coming together into one truly delicious burger. Viva La France!!


3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
8 ounces lardons (or 8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice)
2 pounds ground chuck
1 large shallot, finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 brioche buns, sliced lengthwise
6 ounces brie cheese
3 ounces baby arugula


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

To make Tarragon Dijon Mayonnaise, in a small bowl combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic, champagne vinegar, and tarragon; mix until well combined. Refrigerate until serving.

Heat a large fireproof non-stick skillet on the grill. Add lardons (or pancetta) and cook over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

To make the patties, combine the beef, shallot, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the brioche buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, spread equal amounts of brie cheese on top of the burgers and place the brioche buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Tarragon Dijon Mayonnaise on the cut side of the buns. On each bun bottom, place equal amounts of arugula, a cheese-topped patty, and an equal amount of lardons. Add brioche bun tops and serve.