2 pounds 80-percent-lean ground beef
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups assorted sliced mushrooms, such as cremini, button, and/or oyster
3 tablespoons minced shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Ground black pepper
2 - 3 cups arugula or watercress
6 Dutch-crunch rolls or other hamburger buns, split and toasted
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces)
Shape beef into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle one side of each patty with coarsely ground black pepper, gently pressing pepper into meat. Cover; chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat; add mushrooms. Cook without stirring for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Stir in shallots and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with flour, stirring to coat.
Add wine; stir to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until nearly dry. Stir in broth and thyme. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; carefully add Cognac and butter. Return to heat; stir until butter is melted. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Keep warm.
Season patties with salt. For a charcoal or gas grill, grill patties on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for 14 to 18 minutes or until done (160 degrees F to 165 degrees F),* turning once halfway through grilling.
To serve, place arugula on bun bottoms. Top with patties and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Add bun tops.
*TEST KITCHEN TIP:
The internal color of a burger is not a reliable doneness indicator. A beef, veal, lamb, or pork patty cooked to 160 degrees F is safe, regardless of color. To measure the doneness of a patty, insert an instant-read thermometer through the side of the patty to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 699, Fat, total (g) 46, chol. (mg) 126, sat. fat (g) 18, carb. (g) 28, Monounsaturated fat (g) 21, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 3, Trans fatty acid (g) 2, fiber (g) 2, sugar (g) 4, pro. (g) 35, vit. A (IU) 437.31, vit. C (mg) 3.54, Thiamin (mg) 0.31, Riboflavin (mg) 0.69, Niacin (mg) 10.66, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0.68, Folate (µg) 84.67, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 3.54, sodium (mg) 629, Potassium (mg) 787, calcium (mg) 181.74, iron (mg) 5.76, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet