Seared Burgers With Easy-Melting Comté Cheese Slices

Seared Burgers With Easy-Melting Comt\u00e9 Cheese Slices

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: This recipe will work with any aged, semi-hard cheese like Comté, Cheddar, or Tomme.

  • Yield:makes 2 burgers
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces coarsely grated aged Comté cheese (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon instant flour (like Wondra)
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces of freshly ground beef, formed into two 4-ounce balls
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 toasted hamburger buns
  • Toppings and condiments as desired

Directions

  1. 1.

    Combine cheese, flour, and milk in a small bowl and toss with a spoon to combine. Divide mixture evenly between two small ramekins and set aside. Set a steamer insert into a large saucepot with 1 inch of water. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat and cover pot.

  2. 2.

    Heat vegetable oil in a 10-inch cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat until smoking. Add beef balls to skillet and smash firmly with a stiff spatula into 4- to 4 1/2-inch patties. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  3. 3.

    While patties cook on first side, transfer cheese cups to steamer and close lid. After the first side is well browned (about 1 1/2 minutes), carefully scrape patties up from bottom us skillet using a stiff spatula and flip. Season top side with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until second side is browned, about 1 minute longer.

  4. 4.

    Transfer patties to toasted bun bottoms. Carefully pick up a ramekin full of cheese with a pot holder and stir with a spoon until homogenous and completely smooth. Scrape cheese out of ramekin over burger. Repeat with second burger. Serve immediately with condiments and toppings as desired.