Ultimate Peppercorn Burgers

These bistro-style burgers are designed to be cooked until well-done, yet they are juicy and flavorful. How? A bread “paste” lends incredible moistness.


  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) milk
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Crushed Peppercorn & Garlic Rub
  • 1 lb (450 g) 85% lean ground beef such as chuck
  • 4   onion rolls, split
  •  Additional toppings such as steak sauce, sliced tomatoes or cooked bacon (optional)


  1. Heat a grill pan over medium heat for 3–5 minutes. Slice the onion crosswise into ½" (1-cm) rings and brush with the oil.

  2. Cook the onion 2–3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear and the onion is tender. Remove from the pan, tent with foil, and set aside.

  3. Remove and discard crusts from the bread as the onion cooks. Tear the bread into pieces. Combine the bread, milk, and rub in a large mixing bowl. Mix until a smooth paste forms. Sprinkle the ground beef over the bread paste and mix gently until the ground beef is incorporated.

  4. Form the meat into four thin patties, about 4" (10 cm) in diameter. Grill the patties until the internal temperature reaches 150°F (65°C), 6–8 minutes. Transfer the burgers to a paper-towel-lined plate.

  5. To serve, place the burgers in the rolls. Top them with onions. If you’d like, serve the burgers with additional toppings.


  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 510, Total Fat 24 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 80 mg, Carbohydrate 42 g, Protein 29 g, Sodium 890 mg, Fiber 2 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

3 starch, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 fat (3 carb)

Cook's Tips:

This bread paste is called a panade (puh-NAHD) in French, which is a mixture of bread and milk used to bind ground meats.  It produces surprisingly juicy well-done burgers.

We recommend using 85% lean ground chuck for best flavor and tenderness. Other types of ground beef such as ground round can be substituted.

To take into account shrinkage during cooking, form patties about 1/2 in. (2 cm) larger than the diameter of the buns for a perfect fit when serving.

If desired, 3 garlic cloves, pressed, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper can be substituted for the peppercorn rub.

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