Crispy Comté Frico Cheeseburgers


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


  • 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


  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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