I’m going through a tarragon phase right now, and whenever I cook with tarragon, I think of Sauce Béarnaise. Sauce Béarnaise is a butter emulsion sauce like Hollandaise. Hollandaise is flavored with lemon juice while Béarnaise Sauce is flavored with shallots, chervil, pepper and tarragon.
For this burger, I wanted the flavor profile of a Sauce Bérnaise without actually making Sauce Béarnaise. It’s a legendarily difficult sauce to get right and uses an entire stick of butter. It’s a great sauce that goes well with steak or asparagus or lots of other things. If you want to try making it yourself, try the recipe at Fine Cooking. Feel free to also pour the sauce over a burger, but in this recipe, we take the ingredients of Sauce Béarnaise and add them to ground beef, so they are right in the burger.
I used Gruyère Cheese on my burger and added sautéed onions and mushrooms. I used 85/15 ground beef to achieve a balance between fat and flavor.
Makes 4 Burgers
1-2 Tbsp diced shallots
1/2 tsp fresh chervil, finely chopped (optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped)
1 lb of ground beef (85/15 or 80/20)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
2-3 Tbsp diced onion
4 slices of Gruyère cheese
4 slices of butter lettuce
4 hamburger buns – I used sandwich thins by Oroweat
1. Mix the shallots, chervil, tarragon, egg, ground beef, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Form into 4 patties. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add the patties and cook for about 7 minutes on each side, depending on how well done you like your burgers and how hot your pan is. Cover, vented, while cooking.
2. Meanwhile, heat a medium sautée pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions. Sautée until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and continue to sautée until mushrooms sweat out their moisture and start to brown.
3. Add the cheese to burgers and continue to cook, with the vented cover, until cheese has melted. Toast the buns. Prepare the lettuce slices.
4. Assemble the burgers with lettuce on the bottom, burger patty with cheese in the middle and mushrooms and onions on top. Serve immediately.