A place where I can tell the world about my burger exploits
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Homemade Jucy Lucy
I tried, and failed, to make a Jucy Lucy at home today. For the experiment I had accumulated the essentials: the patty press, the yellow American cheese, and 85/15 chuck fresh from the butcher. I once again have great respect for those brave griddlepersons at places like the 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, MN, who in a day can crank out hundreds of perfect, cheese stuffed, beauties. The Jucy Lucy is a food phenomenon that is virtually unknown and unavailable outside of the Twin Cities. Two thin patties of fresh beef are pinched together with a folded slice of American cheese tucked inside. As the burger cooks, the cheese melts resulting in the ultimate food-science project. Bite into your Jucy Lucy too soon and pay the price - hot, molten cheese will squirt in every direction and scald your face, lap, and mouth. In my attempt at home the first pass was working until I bit into my burger. Despite the tiny trickle of cheese oozing out there was no molten cheese core and the center was still cold and unmelted. Lesson learned: the griddle was too hot. I needed to erase the standard cooking method of 'hot pan-sear-medium rare' and cook the second attempt much slower and lower. Round 2 ended up a total failure when the burger burst and sent most of the yellow cheese into the pan. I continued to cook and accidentally overcooked the burger. Without the cheese inside most of the moisture had dissipated. Leave it to the brave experts and get your Jucy Lucys at Matt's, 5-8, or just about any other reputable burger counter in Minneapolis.