The People’s Burger: Clothbound cheddar from Bourbon Steak’s oak-fired prime steak burger

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The earthiness of the Cabot clothbound cheddar pairs well with Bourbon Steak’s oak-fired prime steak burger. (Kevin J. McCullough/MINA Group)

It took several tries for John Critchley, the executive chef at Bourbon Steak, to find the cheese that was precisely right for his oak-fired prime steak burger ($19). When he tried the Cabot clothbound cheddar, with its sharpness and earthiness to complement the dry-aged beef, he knew it was the one. “It’s known to have a great ripeness to it,” Critchley says. “It has a mild sharp flavor, but it has a smooth melt. For an aged cheese to melt really well is not the easiest thing to find.” Critchley melts that cheese over a dry-aged sirloin patty, cooked at medium heat, and tops it with pickles and secret sauce. But to him, a burger’s just not a burger without the cheese. Those who forgo it? “I think they’re missing out,” he says.

Bourbon Steak, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-944-2026.

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