Crispy Comté Frico Cheeseburgers

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Salty, buttery, and slightly sharp, Comté cheese crisps similarly to Parmesan, adding an irresistibly crunchy frico layer to these cheeseburgers. For best results, don't flip the buns straight out of the oven; letting them cool keeps the cheese crispy at the edges and soft in the center. Sommelier and Wine Director Carlos Solorzano-Smith of Matsuhisa in Aspen, Colorado, suggests pairing this burger with a bottle of Bordeaux for a next-level experience: "The rich flavor of cheeseburgers goes great with a medium to full-bodied Bordeaux, thanks to their tannins and aromas of black fruits," he says.

Crispy Comté Cheeseburger
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Total Time:
1 hrs
Servings:
4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Comté cheese, shredded (about 2 cups), divided

  • 4 brioche hamburger buns, split

  • 1 ½ pounds ground chuck

  • 2 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) dry red wine

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • Butter lettuce leaves, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange 4 (1/4-cup) mounds of cheese on prepared pan spaced 3 inches apart and 11/2 inches from edges. Flatten each mound into a 3-inch circle. Bake in preheated oven just until edges of cheese rounds look dry and lacy, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Working quickly, place 2 split buns, cut sides down, on top of cheese rounds, and press down. Let stand, undisturbed, 5 minutes. Slide parchment with buns off baking sheet, and let buns stand on parchment, undisturbed, until ready to serve. Line baking sheet with fresh parchment; repeat with remaining cheese and buns.

  2. While cheese rounds bake, shape beef into 4 (4-inch-wide) patties. Make a slight indentation in center of each patty using your thumb; set aside.

  3. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened and browned around edges, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring constantly, until wine is absorbed, about 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to a small bowl, and wipe skillet clean.

  4. Sprinkle patties with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, cook patties to desired degree of doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Transfer patties to a plate.

  5. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over cheese on each bottom bun half. Top each with 1 burger patty, 1/4 cup cooked onions, and lettuce. Cover with top buns, cheese sides down.

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied red Bordeaux: Réserve de la Comtesse

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