The Juicy Lucy
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
You want to know my favorite place to vacation? It's not what you're thinking.
Its also not where the famous Juicy Lucy originated from, it's juuuuuuuust a few miles from South Minneapolis where this heavenly burger was brewed up. I'm a big snob, and love Downtown Minneapolis, with Manny's Steakhouse and The Capital Grill. In the small area Berkshire County I'm native too, anything you want to see here, the entire county is smaller than the city of Minneapolis itself. The travel to South Minneapolis feels like an eternity compared to the 7 minutes is takes for me to get from one end of my city to the next.
If you love NYC, which I also love, don't sleep on Minneapolis. Clean, populated, shopping, food GLORE, drinks (like draaanks), people there are nice, friendly and chill. It's beautiful and did I mention clean? The architecture of this city is serious goals, if cities have "goals."
We drag my ass 18 hours both ways for a week of cool, crips air, eating great, shopping at the Mall of America, Target is FROM HERE, and the Minnesota Vikings (that I am not a fan of, MATT) but that experience also is seriously spectacular. Every football team should try to make the game that fun. The wine, beer and food is unlimited where we sit so, yes, it's my favorite place to vacation.
I'm not exactly a burger "connoisseur" so I never would've ordered this, I am that person that seriously loves a salad from a restaurant and I have a really good reason, so just stop judging okay?! I'm kidding, unless you are then listen.
I HATE making my own salads. I don't know what it is but it's never as good and when someone else makes it and I get grossed out by it.
Anyways, Matt loves a good burger and BOTH TIMES we visited and he ordered a "Juicy Lucy" he said it wasn't that great. I watched a chef from Minneapolis on Beat Bobby Flay and everyone raved about it, so naturally I was like "someday I'm going to make this for you and it's going to be amazing."
A basic Juicy Lucy is a really good bun, 80/20 meat to fat ratio ground beef, salt, pepper and stuffed with yellow American cheese. Yup, the processed cheese food that we all hate to love and then you put your own twists on it.
I tried to keep it simple because the cheese explosion in the middle takes the entire thing over and you don't need all the extra stuff to distract from the great, molten center.
I chose a brioche bun. Sometimes people tear out the inside of the bun, I chose not to do that because the bun is really good. AND I saved all my carbs for this today, so I was eating that bun. I do think, however, that the point is because the burger can tend to be thicker than a normal burger and it helps to take away some of the height and the fullness without skimping on the burger. I'll try it next time ;)
I used pre-made 80/20 burger patties because when I reached into my freezer in a rush I thought "burgers" and grabbed them, however I would recommend using ground beef and making your own burger, but it worked well either way. Seasoned it with a season salt recipe, and prepped it for stuffing with all the cheese.
I chose to use Land O' Lakes white American cheese for the filling and the topping. You can also use the Kraft singles, or whatever brand/flavor you like. I also would recommend the Velveeta "brick" you can chop up, easily made into cubes, and stuffed into a burger. Whatever you do, I do not recommend shredded cheese, it's very hard to shape into the burger.
For this burger, I put some chopped up dill pickles inside too, almost like the smash burger idea, it brings the flavor to a whole new level. And the crispy bacon. And the toasty bun. YAS. I've literally never typed that before. Feels weird. Anyways..
These burgers are thick, because of the inside ingredients, but most people prefer a little pink left in the middle so I get my grill really hot, then turn it down to medium when I put the burgers on. While the grill is heating up, a lay my bacon strips on the top rack and let those cook as I go, then I don't have to go inside, which also saves a pan from having to wipe all the grease out, so, you're welcome friend.
For the sake of getting it cooked nice a evenly I recommend turning them clockwise every few minutes, and then you'll get the nice char lines which will make you feel like you belong on Food Network.
Once the burgers are ready to be flipped and add the last layer of cheese, spread some butter on the brioche buns and put those on the grill too! Everything is going on this grill. Those will get a little golden brown, the cheese will melt perfect and you are ready to plate this bad boy. Or girl? Lucy? Nevermind.
The set up is simple, little mayo on the bottom bun, burger down, red onion slices and a pickle. If you like ketchup and mustard on the top bun. Then, go grab yourself a bib, because this burger is not a first date burger.
Pending second or third.
Wear stretchy pants.
1 LB 80/20 ground beef
8 slices of American cheese
4 diced dill pickles, I recommend Klausen dill slices
1 TSP season salt
4 slices of red onion
4 brioche burger buns
2 slices of butter
4 slices of bacon
1. Start by seasoning the ground beef with seasoning salt, and smush it around like you're going to make a meatloaf.
2. Section out the ground beef into four burger patties.
3. Place chunk of cheese and diced dill pickles in the center of the burger, then fold the patty in from the sides.
4. Re-form ground beef into as flat of a patty as you can without exposing the cheese inside.
5. Heat grill on HIGH heat for 5 minutes, lay bacon on top rack, keeping an eye on it for flipping and taking off the grill. Once its nice and hot turn the heat down to MEDIUM and lay on the burgers.
6. After 3 minutes of the grill turn the burgers 180 degrees clockwise.
7. Let cook another 2-3 minutes, and flip.
8. Butter up the buns. Bacon should be done, remove from grill and let rest on cutting board.
9. Cook flipped side for 2 minutes, and turn again. Lay buns on grill, watch carefully to avoid charing.
10. Lay on the bacon, and cheese
11. Remove buns, and dress with toppings of choice.
12. Place burger on the bun and add fresh toppings of choice. Enjoy!