The Juicy Lucy burger – fast food made fancy

20140506-195119.jpgMeet the ‘Juicy Lucy’ – a burger with both cheese and my name in it. How could I resist cooking Minneapolis’s contribution to American cuisine!

Like all good food traditions there’s a rivalry between two Minneapolis bars as to who invented this luscious contribution to fast food. Hot cheese gushing out from between sizzling burgers – what more could a girl want on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Washed down with a cold beer? Epic.

Cook the Juicy Lucy's a little more than I did and the cheese will ooze out in a hot melty stream
Cook the Juicy Lucy’s a little more than I did and the cheese will ooze out in a hot melty stream

Traditionally a Jucy Lucy, yes both spellings are correct, uses American cheese aka processed cheese slices.

And, whilst I am no cheese purist, processed cheese is a vital ingredient in a Christmas Cheese Ball, I’ve veered away from the original recipe replacing American cheese with something our ancestors would recognise.

20140506-195140.jpgThis time I used wild venison mince but beef mince is good too. I would’ve paired it with a salty blue, but I’d eaten it  a few days earlier when a post-dinner gewutz demanded its consumption.

So I’ve used the only other cheese in my fridge, an aged Dutch Gouda. It was good, though didn’t melt as much as the blue cheese I’ve used before.

20140506-195155.jpgLucy’s Juicy Lucy

The molten cheese centre transforms basic burgers to luscious treats. Watch when you cut into them, the Juicy Lucy can spit so rest for a couple of minutes before serving to let her cool her heels.

500 gram venison or beef mince
200 grams cheese – see note
1/2 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of chipotle or other dried chilli powder
Salt and pepper
Duck fat, olive oil or butter to fry
A spring of rosemary
A few twigs of thyme

Season the mince with spices, salt and pepper. Divide into equal portions depending on the number of burgers you want.

Take one of the portions, break off about about a third and put aside, this will be the lid.

Hold the bigger piece in your palm, shape into a patty with a little rim around the edge. If the mince gets sticky, dampen your hand with cold water. Place onto a board and add cheese in an even layer.

Take the smaller piece and shape into a disc for the lid. Place on top and carefully pinch both pieces together sealing in the cheese. Make sure there are no holes for the cheese to escape.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over a high heat in a heavy-based frypan until the oil begins to shimmer. Fry til one side is brown, turn over, add a tablespoon of butter and the rosemary and thyme to flavour the oil.
Baste the burgers with the oil to help boost their flavour and keep them moist. They’ll puff out a little when ready.
Take off the heat and rest. Serve with chutney on a bed of baby spinach and red peppers or your favourite burger fixings. A craft American or IPA beer pairs perfectly.

Use a strong, salty cheese that’ll melt such as a tangy blue, cheddar, or gouda. Taleggio’s ooziness would rock this burger. Slice or crumble the cheese, just make sure it is well and truly sealed in its mincey cage.

You can cook these on the barbeque just avoid moving, turning or poking them otherwise the cheese could leak out.

One thought on “The Juicy Lucy burger – fast food made fancy

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