Beer Steamed Cheeseburgers

Det Burgers

My first official cooking job was in the mid 70’s at a bar in Ann Arbor Michigan (where I went to college) called the Del Rio. The most famous item on the menu, invented by a bored cook one slow day, was a burger called the “Det Burger,” a quarter pounder topped with canned vegetables and processed cheese, steamed in beer. It was surprisingly delicious! I have developed my own version here using fresh mushrooms, Mediterranean olives, green chiles and cheddar cheese. Needless to say, I kept the beer. 

Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 minutes

1 medium onion
Eight 1  1/2-inch cremini mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 4-ounce can sliced, peeled green chiles, drained
1/3 cup pitted brine-cured olives such as kalamata
1 ½ pounds ground beef chuck or round
6 ounces Cheddar cheese, cut into 4 slices
1/3 cup beer
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Cut the onion crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices. Slice the mushrooms (about 1 1/3 cups). Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook, 7 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Transfer the onion slices with a metal spatula to a plate.

Increase the heat to medium- high; add the a tablespoon of oil and the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring, about 4 to 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have browned and the liquid they release has evaporated. Season the mushroom mixture with salt and pepper to taste and transfer it to a bowl. While the onion and mushrooms are cooking slice the olives. Add the chiles and olives to the mushroom mixture; set aside.

Gently shape the beef into four 4-inch hamburgers; season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the burgers and cook 3 minutes. Turn the burgers over and cook 2 minutes. Top each with one slice of the onion, one quarter of the chile mixture and a slice of cheese. Add the beer to the skillet; cover and steam 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Transfer the burgers to the toasted buns and serve.

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4 Responses to Beer Steamed Cheeseburgers

  1. Richard Ryer says:

    Like most cooking shows you can not find the recipes you just watched on PBS TY.
    Just saw a show about apple tart, crab soup, and a crawfish stew on rice. Could not find any
    recipes. will stop watching these shows.

    • Sara Moulton says:

      Richard, at the top right of my website, saramoulton.com, is a looking glass icon. If you click on the right of that bar and type in the name of the recipe or one of the major ingredients the recipe should pop right up.

  2. After reading this article, this seems in no way to be steamed like Connecticut’s steams their traditional steamed cheeseburger. This is just cooking. Not even a mention to cover with a lid to keep the beer aroma contained in the pan. But I will give this a try with our steamed cheeseburger makers.

    • Sara Moulton says:

      The recipe does say to cover:
      “Add the beer to the skillet; cover and steam 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.”
      I hope you make the burgers and let me know how you like them.

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