The Ooh-la-la Burger

We love this burger recipe so much it was the first thing I made when we kicked off BBQ season! This burger recipe takes an French twist on the BBQ burger.  It is subtle but quite different and always gets rave reviews.

I have been making these for years.  The caramelized onions have become a staple that I use in quiches, pizza toppings, burgers, wraps…you name it!  You can make the onions ahead of time and just reheat while the burgers cook, or you can cook them while the burgers are cooking. They take about the same amount of time.

The original recipe was published in 2011 in the Food and Drink magazine published by the LCBO.  It  included sautéed mushrooms which I am sure I included the first time but have since fallen away in my standard rotation. In my version I took the thyme from the mushroom sauté and added it to the onion mix. Works perfectly!

The flavours are subtle but if you are a fan of tarragon you will recognize it right away.  And.. of course the Brie cheese topping is recognizably French.

I don’t feel the need to put many other toppings on this burger. It is easy to overwhelm the subtlety of the flavours.  Since there is Dijon in the meat mixture as well as minced shallots I don’t feel the need to add mustard or onion to  the toppings.  I sometimes add a slice of tomato but other than that I serve them pretty much as the recipe is made.

I also like to serve a French cornichon pickle on the side or failing that a plain old dill pickle will work too.

Because the flavour is mixed into the meat and onion topping,  you don’t need a lot of extra toppings. That makes these burgers very easy to serve since you don’t need the side board of ketchup, relish, mustard,mayo etc.

Enjoy with a side salad or this amazing German Potato Salad.


The Ooh-la-la Burger

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 6 oz burgers



  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup shallots minced
  • 3 Tbsps fresh tarragon minced
  • 2 Tbsps Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 oz Brie Cheese thinly sliced
  • 4 Burger buns

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion (like Vidalia)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt and black pepper (each)
  • 1/4 cup red wine (or sub 2 Tbsps red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar


  • Mix all burger ingredients, except buns & Brie, well in a bowl. Divide into 4 equal amounts and form 4 uniform burgers.
  • Heat olive oil in a sauce pan and add onions, salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes over medium/high heat then add red wine and brown sugar. Reduce heat to med/low and cook a further 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should be dark, golden brown. If there is any hint of burning reduce heat.
  • While onions are cooking, heat up BBQ grill. Cook burgers over medium heat 9-10 minutes per side. Add Brie cheese when you remove burgers from the grill. Cover burgers with Brie for 5 minutes to allow juices to redistribute internally and cheese to soften.
  • While burgers are resting, lightly toast buns on BBQ if desired.
  • Serve with hot caramelized onions.

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