Au Poivre Smashburger

A burger with onions smashed into it, topped off with a peppercorn brandy cream sauce

A couple of months ago when I was writing my Steak Au Poivre post, I thought to myself…”I bet this recipe could be made into a really good burger”. All it would take is a burger that’s heavy on the black pepper and then topped with a brandy cream sauce. Fast forward to today and I present you with the Au Poivre Smashburger.

Onion preparation

Just like with our Onion Smashburger recipe, I wanted to smash onions into the burger. I know that onions are not traditionally part of steak au poivre, but I felt they would go really well with this burger. You’ll need to slice an onion as thinly as possible, toss them in a bowl with salt, and wait for about 20 mins. The salt will extract any liquid from the onions, which is exactly what we want. Once the 20 mins are up, drain the onions – squeezing them while doing so to extract as much liquid as possible. Set aside until it’s time to smash the beef.

Beef and spices

Ground beef or something like chuck (if you’re grinding yourself) is perfect for this recipe. Form 1/4 lb balls with the meat (similar to a meatball) and season the top side generously with salt and heavily with ground black pepper. I like to grind my own peppercorns but you can definitely use pre-ground black pepper. We are only seasoning one side because we will season the second side after we flip our smashburgers.

Smasburger balls seasoned heavily with ground black pepper for our au poivre smashburgers
Smashburger balls that are heavily seasoned with ground black pepper.

Time to smash

With our beef and onions ready to go, it’s time to smash! Preheat a cast iron or large pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 beef balls (depending on how many can fit after you smash them) unseasoned side down and add 1/4 of the onions on top. Using a burger press or spatula, smash the burger down. I like to leave it pressed for a few seconds to really help build a crust. Allow to cook until it’s around 80% done. You will notice the sides of the patty with start to brown at this point. Flip the burger and season the second side with salt and ground black pepper (heavily season). Cook for about 1 minute and remove from the heat.

Burger that has had the onions smashed into it
Burger that’s had onions smashed into it. The sides are starting to brown, indicating it’s almost time to flip.

Keep the burgers warm

Since these burgers are most likely made one at a time, I like to keep them warm while I finish cooking. If you have an open oven, set the temperature to 190ºF-200ºF degrees and put the smashburgers in. This is even more important with this recipe since we’ll be making a sauce once the burgers are done.

Finished burger patty that's being kept warm in the refrigerator
Burger patty that’s cooked and being kept warm in the oven.

The Sauce

Using the same cast iron or pan, lower the heat to medium-low and add some brandy. If you’re like me, you’re going to flambé the brandy (aka light it on fire) but you can just let it cook down if you find that to be a little intimidating. If you do decide to flambé, just make sure to have the pan lid in case you need to put the fire out. Using a whisk, scrape all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add some heavy cream, dijon mustard, and butter. Let that all cook together for about 5 minutes and the delicious sauce is ready.

Brandy peppercorn cream sauce cooking away
The brandy cream sauce cooking away.

Put it all together

It’s super simple to put these burgers together. Using the burger buns of your choice (I like brioche), add the 1-2 burger patties (depending on how big of a burger you want) with the onions smashed into them and then top with the sauce. There’s really no need to put cheese on these burgers as this thick sauce almost mimics cheese. Optional: if you like mushrooms, I definitely recommend adding them. Just lightly seasons some sliced mushrooms with salt and pepper and sauté until softened. Add them to your burger on top of the sauce if you would like.

Mushrooms added on top of this burger
Sautéed mushrooms go really well with this burger


Do you see how easy it was to combine one of my favorite burger and steak recipes? The flavor profiles of these two recipes work really well together and make an excellent smashburger. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments. I hope that this creative recipe is something that you will enjoy.

A burger with onions smashed into it, topped off with a peppercorn brandy cream sauce

Au Poivre Smashburger

When smashburgers and steak au poivre meet: the Au Poivre Smashburger. Beef is heavily seasoned with black pepper, has onions smashed into it, and then seared until the perfect crust formed. Topped with sautéed mushrooms (optional) and a brandy cream sauce. This fusion burger is sure to spice up your burger game and will leave you wanting more.
Servings 4 single burgers


The Burgers

  • 1 lb Ground beef or chuck beef (if grinding yourself)
  • 1 Large white onion or 2 medium white onions
  • Black pepper to taste recommended to go heavy with this
  • Salt to taste
  • Avocado oil to taste; or any neutral oil
  • 4 Brioche burger buns
  • 1/4 lb Baby portabella mushrooms optional

The Sauce

  • 1/3 cup Brandy
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard


The Burgers

  • Slice the onions as thinly as possible. Put them in a bowl with salt and toss to coat all over.  Let rest for about 20 minutes (going a little longer is ok too).  After resting, squeeze all the liquid out of the onions.  Discard liquid and set onions aside.
  • If grinding your own beef, grind it now. Separate ground beef into 4 balls (1/4 lb per ball). The balls should be similar to a meatball. Season the top side with salt and heavily with black pepper.
  • Preheat an oven to 190ºF-200ºF. This is to keep burgers warm after you have cooked them.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet or pan on medium-high heat.  Give it time to preheat and get very hot.  Once hot, put 1-2 beef balls in the pan (depending on how big your skillet or pan is) and put 1/4 of the onions on the top side of each ball.  Smash it down with a burger press or spatula until thin. Allow the burger to cook until it's ~80% done (around 2 minutes). The sides of the smashburger will start to brown. Flip the burger and season the second side with salt and heavily with black pepper. Allow to cook; remove from heat once done. Put it on a tray and in the warmed oven. Repeat with the remaining beef balls.

The Sauce

  • Using the same pan that you cooked the burgers in, lower the heat to medium-low. Add the brandy and flambé or cook down. If you flambé, have the pan lid ready in case you want to cover and put the fire out. Using a whisk, scrap the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the brandy has cooked for a minute or two, add the heavy cream and continue to whisk. Add the dijon mustard and butter. Cook for around 5 minutes, mixing from time to time. If the sauce consistency is not thick enough to your liking, continue to cook a couple more minutes.

Optional: Mushrooms

  • If adding mushrooms to your burgers, season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Sauté over medium heat until softened.

Suggested Burger Compilation

  • Add 1-2 smashed patties to a brioche bun. Add the au poivre sauce and mushrooms (optional). Enjoy!
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