Bistro Burger Topped with a Poached Egg

Inspired by a story I read by Jane Sigal in the New York Times on Paris burgers, this is based on a recipe from Café Salle Pleyel, which uses classic beef tartare ingredients in a slightly cooked burger. I like to serve it on split half baguettes or on a bed of tiny salad greens that include peppery arugula or watercress, both of which go wonderfully with the egg.
By / Photography By Marcus Nilsson | January 01, 2011


  1. Bring a frying pan half-filled with salted water to a simmer, then add the vinegar. Break each egg into a ramekin and then slip the egg into the simmering water. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift each egg out of the water when it is cooked to your liking (a slightly runny center is good — that takes about 3 minutes). Shake the spoon to drain as much liquid as possible, and gently put each poached egg in a separate small bowl until needed.
  2. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes with the capers, tarragon, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste, pulsing in a food processor or by hand.
  3. Using your hands, and working the meat as lightly as possible, combine the meat with the tomato-and-herb mixture and the teaspoon olive oil.
  4. Shape the meat firmly into 4 patties, each about 1⁄2-inch thick.
  5. Heat a cast-iron skillet, add the tablespoon olive oil, and wait until it thins and becomes fragrant. Add the burgers to the pan. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes per side for very rare. Set on a platter of split baguettes or salad greens; top each burger with a poached egg and then a couple of cheese curls. Serve at once.


  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 pastured free-range eggs
  • 1⁄4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground grass-fed beef
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, thinly sliced into curls with a vegetable peeler
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