Weekend Recipe: Connecticut Steamed Cheeseburgers

This is kind of a weird one. America's Test Kitchen has recreated the "Connecticut Steamed Cheeseburger," a regional classic that doesn't, at first glance, make much sense. But hey, it tastes good, and even though L.A. is the undisputed burger capital of the world, there's no harm in switching it up!

Photo courtesy America's Test KitchenConnecticut Steamed Cheeseburgers
Serves 4
1 1/2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
4 hamburger buns

Combine beef, soy sauce, onion powder, tomato paste, salt, and pepper in bowl. Divide beef into 4 balls. Gently flatten into patties ¾ inch thick and 4 inches wide. Press shallow divot in center of each patty. Bring 4 cups water to boil in covered Dutch oven over medium-high heat (water should not touch bottom of steamer basket).

Arrange patties in steamer basket. Set steamer basket inside Dutch oven, cover, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat and divide cheese evenly among burgers, cover, and let sit until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Place top buns on burgers and bottom buns, cut side up, on top of top buns. Cover and let sit until buns soften, about 30 seconds. Transfer bottom buns to cutting board, add condiments, and top with burgers and top buns. Serve.

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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