Burgers Au Poivre #TheLostFamilySupperClub

 *Disclosure: I received a complementary advance copy of The Lost Family in exchange for my review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Today is fun because I get to review my first ever advance copy book, The Lost Family by Jenna Blum and be part of the food-centric virtual launch party sponsored by the BookClub Cookbook and HarperCollins Publishers.

You can get all the information here at the Virtual Party!

The Lost Family follows Peter, a restaurant owner who is also an Auschwitz survivor.  Peter is very driven, yet the aftermath of his ordeal surviving WWII and the concentration camps affects every aspect of his life and in turn, his family.

This book is perfect for historical fiction buffs.  Though one occasionally hears the stories of concentration camp survivors, they generally revolved around survival (or rescue) from the camp itself, not the ramifications in everyday life afterward.  It is truly a unique story.

Throughout the story, which spans several decades with a different point of view character (Peter in the 1960’s, June (Peter’s wife) in the 1970’s, and Elsbeth (Peter’s daughter) in the 1980’s) for each decade.  The reader slowly realizes how Peter’s emotional state affects his life.

While this is not my typical genre, I can appreciate how well Blum crafted the story and wove the storylines together!

Food plays a huge role in the story, both because Peter is a chef/restaurateur and because of June and Elsbeth’s relationships with food.  A few times throughout the story, a full restaurant menu is included.  My eye was immediately drawn to Hamburger Walter, according to the text:

HAMBURGER WALTER:Ground Chuck au Poivre & Flambéed in brandy,Accompanied by Pommes Frites & No Vegetables At All (p. 96)

I’ve made Steak au Poivre in the past, so I was instantly intrigued by Hamburger au Poivre.  I didn’t quite make mine as described in the book (no flambĂ©) and definitely some veggies, but I still had the smothered burger & fries!

The sauce, while not a true au poivre (I adapted this creamy sauce from my favorite fry dip) is fantastic and complements a grilled burger perfectly – especially in the heat of summer!

Burgers Au Poivre

½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
½ teaspoon whiskey
½ teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste

1 pound lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon whiskey
Salt & pepper
Additional ground pepper

2-hour buns, to serve

Whisk together sauce ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat the grill (alternately, these can be cooked in a cast-iron skillet)

Mix together the burger ingredients.  Coat the outsides of the burgers with additional pepper.

Grill, flipping occasionally until cooked through completely (an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, (unless you’re the type to tempt fate and food poisoning, then cook to taste.))

Serve on split buns with a dollop of the burger sauce.


  1. As you know, this is my genre and I loved the novel. I know I would love that burger too.

  2. Your burgers sound wonderful! It was great to party with you!

  3. I am digging that dip/sauce! I went with the whole flambe bit and it was extremely rich---almost too much so. Love your burger (with a bit of veggie lettuce)!

  4. What a fun and tasty experience for your first #ARC! ;-) Your burger looks amazing and I think I would like to drench pretty much everything with that sauce. Great job!

  5. Congratulations on winning the monthly prize for this post at "Foodies Read" --

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  6. Good choice for that book. I liked that book too.


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