Watch the Food Lab Video Series Hot Brown Burgers

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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Hot Brown Burgers

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 2
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:45 minutes
Special equipment:grill, 2 small heatproof gratin dishes, or 1 medium heatproof baking dish
This recipe appears in: The Burger Lab: Burger + Hot Brown = Hot Brown Burger


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 3 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces freshly ground beef, formed into two 5-ounce patties
  • 2 slices hearty white toast
  • 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked
  • 4 slices ripe tomato
  • Dash paprika
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. 1

    Preheat broiler or toaster oven to high. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Continue to cook, whisking constantly until pale golden blond, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in heavy cream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Whisk in grated cheese, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    When ready to serve, season burger patties generously with salt and pepper and cook burgers to desired doneness on a hot grill or in a skillet on the stovetop, 125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium. Let burger patties rest for 5 minutes off heat.

  3. 3

    Place 1 slice toast in the bottom of each gratin dish or both slices in the bottom of one oval baking dish and top each with a burger patty. Pour half the sauce over each sandwich, completely coating it. Place under broiler until spotty brown and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Place 2 slices of bacon in a cross on top of each dish and add 2 slices of tomato to the side of the toast. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley and serve immediately with a knife and fork.

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