In anticipation of the carnage that will commence in t-minus 30 minutes, I thought it important that we at least watch the proceedings with a full tummy. Also, since it is never a good idea to eat immediately prior to bed, and with the Wolves playing a late game on the west coast where they are about to engage in their 6th straight double-digit loss, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and put out the inevitable post-game Recipe Game Wrap before the tilt.
Exciting, I know.
In honor of the conquering team that used to call our fair state its home, here is a recipe for south Minneapolis' gift to the culinary world, the Jucy Lucy:
As is the case with all hamburgers, it’s all about the quality of the beef. When making burgers, there is a simple rule: don’t get lean beef. The whole point of enjoying a tasty burger is that it is a fatty meal that should be enjoyed on a somewhat rare occasion and there is no reason on God’s green earth why it should be enjoyed as healthily as possible. That misses the entire point, especially with a Jucy Lucy.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 80/20 ground beef. If you’re feeling adventurous, find a good local butcher and ask him to give you 20 oz of sirloin tips and 12 oz of boneless beef short ribs, all cut into 1 inch squares. You can then take it home and grind it up on your own in a food processor, meat grinder, or, if you don’t have anything else, by pulsing in a blender. We did a Jucy Lucy gourmet night last summer with “homemade” ground beef that we got from a quarter cow we bought. It was directly off the farm and it remains the best burger I have ever made.
- Cheap-ass cheese. American is what you want here. If you’re going the gourmet route, you can go with Blue Cheese (make sure to let it stand for an hour before you use it) or something with a little kick (jalapeño cheese is good). However, if you want the basic meal, just buy some cheap-ass American sliced cheese from WalMart. If you go the gourmet route, go to the nearest local co-op and buy a local cheese brand. I like to get my blue cheese from a place in Faribault. One time we ignored the unhealthy burger rule and tried grass-fed Jucys with meat and cheese from this place.
- A light and fluffy bun. A bad bun will ruin even the best Jucy Lucy. Do not get something that is hard. Do not get something that is dense. Do not toast the damn thing. Toasting is for losers. Airy and light is good. I don’t have any suggestions for this other than to tell you to take your time in the bread isle to find the best bun that fits this bill.
- Salt and pepper.
- The official beer of Canis Hoopus: Surly Furious.
To make the Jucy Lucy you need to figure out how big you want the burgers. You can make them anywhere from 1/4 lbs to 1/2 pounds. I’d suggest going with 1/3 or 1/2 pound burgers. To divide up the meat, simply partition off 1 lbs portions of ground beef into how many burgers you want.
Take each partitioned ball and cut it evenly in half. Mash down each 1/2 into a thin disc and inspect it to make sure there are no holes through which the molten cheese can escape.
Take your slice of cheese and rip it up into 4-6 small pieces. Line up the pieces in the center of the burger out to about a 1/3 of an inch away from the edge of the patty. Take the other half of the burger and place it on top of the patty with the cheese. Work your way around the edge with your fingers to seal up the burger as best you can. Inspect both sides to make sure there are no holes.
When you have a properly sealed up Jucy Lucy you should have something that looks like a flying saucer: a disc with a little dome on the top, with the cheese being underneath the dome.
You can either grill or pan fry the burger. Either way, you should make sure most of the cooking begins on the flat side of the patty and that you only turn it once. Each method should be done at medium heat, taking extra special care not to burn anything to a complete crisp. This will vary anywhere from 6-10 minutes on the first side with 3-6 on the other. Cooking time will depend on the evenness of your stove’s temperature or how well you can grill. This is the trial-and-error part of Jucy Lucy cooking. Jucy Art, if you will. Write times and temps down so that when you find a good time/temp combo, you can repeat it in the future.
The main thing you need to remember when cooking the patty is that it should be salted and peppered immediately upon being put on the grill. Both sides should get S&P’d. When you flip the patty, you should also poke a tiny hole in the top of the flat side of the burger so the cheese doesn’t explode out the bottom. Cheese exploding out the bottom is a bad thing.
While you are at the grill or stove, have someone else cook up some onion rings or fries, or, if that isn’t an option, get a bag of Old Dutch potato chips to serve on the side. All Jucy Lucys should be served with a pickle on the side and with a tasty local beverage. DO NOT SERVE A JUCY LUCY WITH CONDIMENTS!!! IT IS A SIN TO PUT KETCHUP ON A JUCY LUCY!!! YOU WILL GO TO HELL.
Our blogging buddies for the evening are over at Silver Screen and Roll.
Enjoy and go Wolves!