Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lucy is Juicy

The inverted cheeseburger

There are two bars in Minneapolis, MN that have squabbled since the dishes debut as to who originated the Juicy Lucy or Jucy Lucy. Which bar you believe depends on which bar, the 5-8 club or Mat's Bar one frequents. The story goes a man walks into a bar and wants a Juicy Lucy. When asked what the hell a Juicy Lucy is, he says two patties of meat molded together with the cheese inside – and so the Juicy Lucy, Jucy Lucy was born and the feud between “Jucy” Matt's Bar and “Juicy” 5-8 club began.

I suspect a child invented the original Juicy Lucy. Kids love to experiment with food, especially jamming different types together, starting with the ubiquitous peanut butter sandwich. I remember the entire lunchroom in grade school smelled of peanut butter. Only natural a kid would look at two burgers and cheese and wonder what would happen if you jammed the cheese in between two pieces of meat. My curiosity was piqued as a child after my folks brought home frozen “Joe's” pizza burgers for my brother and I for dinner while they went out to eat decent food at a restaurant. What else could one hide inside that beefy cheesy delicacy?

In the end it doesn't make any difference who came up with the idea first or who has the original, it is easy to bring this delight to your very own kitchen. It is so simple a chimp could do it, but make sure her washes his hands before you let him touch the meat. I like to use the forbidden hamburger meat – the stuff that is 86%, meaning lots of fat. Hey we're going to stick a huge hunk of sharp cheddar cheese in between two patties creating an enormous hunk of meat, so this isn't a diet dish to begin with. I suspect that eating them now and again won;t hurt anything, living on them would bring on Arterial blockage and make the heart go on strike in short order. The fatty burger sticks together better so I use it.

Place one patty* down on a flat (and preferably clean) surface. Place a thick slice of the cheese of your choice in the middle, ensuring there is plenty of burger around the edges, and gently press it into the meat. Then mold the patties together to from a cheese tight seal (like water tight, only with cheese). Some cheese will inevitably leak out a bit, but calm down – we'll all live. I use a cast iron grill pan, but tossing them on a the grill outside and introducing some nice hickory smoke would be the icing on the cake. I salt (Kosher) and pepper (fresh ground) the side facing up and do the same to the side now cooking when it is time to flip. When finished, slap them on a bun and decorate to taste and there you go.

Don't be afraid to hide other treats in the Lucy. Sauteed mushrooms, bacon, pepperjack and Jalapenos, and pizza sauce with provolone come to mind almost immediately. All right, now I am hungry after all this food talk so it's back into the kitchen for me – meanwhile you all enjoy!!

* If you don't know how to make a hamburger patty, sue your parents for neglecting to pass on the necessary life skills and use the money to check into the home for the terminally stupid.

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At 9:31 PM, Blogger /t. said...


man, that all
sounds pretty good

86% hamburger is out for me, though, as i prefer leaner fare -- like lamb -- am thinking this substitution could work ok here -- thanks


At 5:59 PM, Blogger foam said...

That looks real good! And the cholesterol that I've worked so hard to bring down has just gone way up again.
This would probably be real good with bison meat too.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

I don't think lamb would work with this at all. Beef will do fine.


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