Try Whitney Mercilus' amazing burger recipe

The Checkdown's Sunday Cooking series offers up star recipes from star players around the league.

Up first: An out-of-this-world good gourmet burger from Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus. Make it at home by following these easy steps:


Juicy Beef Patty

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons finely-chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1 egg


  • Brioche buns
  • 1 thinly-sliced heirloom tomato
  • Arugula (optional)
  • Smoked Gouda cheese
  • Thinly-sliced shallots

Garlic Aioli Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayo, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef with garlic, parsley, butter and egg. Mix and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Separate the mixture and divide into six even-sized balls for cooking.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat, and toast the brioche buns. Once the bun is lightly toasted, set aside for plating.
  5. One at a time, place your patties on a medium-high heated cast-iron skillet, and smash flat with a spatula. Flip and sear each side for a few minutes, until browned.
  6. After each side is cooked, place the sliced gouda cheese on top of the burger patty. Reduce heat and cover for a few minutes. Once cheese is melted, remove burger from skillet onto a plate.
  7. Place grilled burger on top of bun, and top with heirloom tomato, arugula, shallots, and spread aioli. Press top bun down, and cut in half. Your gourmet burger is complete!

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