Grandaddy’s Black Pepper Burger
I made these Black Pepper Burgers with three different kinds of ground meat: lamb, chuck (beef), and venison. Now I won’t blame you if you look at the recipe and think to yourself “Wow that’s a lot of black pepper!” But really, the pepper is what makes these burgers so great, along with the blend of meats. The earthy flavor of the venison alone is enough to make your mouth water!
When it comes to food, I have two different sides that are often in competition: a traditionalist side, and an artist-on-the-fringe side. Since burgers are so classic and perfect, I can only really change the condiments to affect the flavor profile and satisfy my artist’s side.
The traditional side of me plays on the memories from my childhood. Those memories bring me right back to my grandad’s house, with my dad sitting in his cut-off blue jean shorts, watching the Braves play baseball, eating his simple hamburger on two pieces of white bread. Ironically, both my grandad and my dad liked their burgers simple, with raw onion, mustard, and cheddar as the only toppings.
Both burgers are prepared with equal parts beef chuck, lamb roast, and venison. The meats are excellent and lend themselves to a simple preparation. If I get into one of my “artsy need a little more” kind of moods, then the amped up version is my all-time go-to. I like to electrify my taste buds with a remoulade sauce made with capers and my homemade dill refrigerator pickles. Oh. My. Goodness. Heart be still.
Grinding your own meat will allow you to use your favorite cuts of meat and to serve these burgers rare to medium without fear of getting sick. You will know the quality of meat you are using.
Now, besides the meat, the real secret to this burger is the pepper—yes, freshly ground black pepper. A lot of pepper. Seriously, you will think, “there’s no way this is going to be good,” but believe me, it is!
Grandaddy's Black Pepper Burgers
Chuck, Lamb Roast and Venison Burgers with Cheddar Two Ways
- 1 pound ground chuck steak
- 1 pound ground lamb shoulder
- 1 pound ground venison loin
- 1/2 cup freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 9 brioche hamburger buns
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 9 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- homemade refrigerator pickles
- 1 large Vidalia onion sliced thin
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt
In a large bowl, mix the meats, salt, and pepper together. Don't over-mix. It's will cause the meat to get too warm and mushy. If youa re grinding your own meat, add the salt and pepper to the meat before it goes through the grinder. You will have to handle the meat less with your hands, keeping the meat from getting too warm.
Form the meat mixture into nine 1 1/2-inch patties, making slight indentations in the center of each patty. Season each patty with a little more pepper.
Brush the melted butter on the inside and outsides of each bun. In a grill pan or cast iron skillet heated over medium heat, place the buns cut side down and cook for about one minute. Turn the buns over for about 30 seconds and move to a plate or cutting board, cut side up.
Place the burgers in the pan over high heat and allow to cook for about one minute, then reduce the temperature to medium. Allow the burgers to continue cooking for about four minutes. Flip the burgers over and place a slice of cheddar cheese on top of the patty and cook for another four minutes. Place a dome over the patties to melt the cheese quicker. When the cheddar has melted, remove the patties to a cooling rack. Choose the condiments from the ingredients list above and build your burger accordingly.
For the burger with Remoulade
If serving the burger with caper remoulade, place capers, mayonnaise, mustards, and a pinch of salt into a food processer or blender and blend until completely smooth. Spoon a generous amount of remoulade sauce onto the bottom bun and place the patty on top of the sauce. Add a tomato slice and pickles to the top of the patty and place on the top bun.
If serving the traditional burger, spoon mustard over the bottom bun and top with the patty. Add a generous amount of sliced onions over the patty and top with the top half of the bun. Serve hamburgers with sweet potato fries or homemade potato chips. Enjoy!