This time last year, my sons and I vacationed in Minneapolis, MN where we sampled our first Jucy Lucy’s. And yes, the spelling is incorrect on purpose. This cheese-stuffed burger was invented in South Minneapolis sometime in the ’50’s, but there is some controversy to which bar actually invented it. Matt’s Bar says “If it’s spelled correctly you’re in the wrong place”. At the 5-8, the employees wear shirts that proclaim “if it’s spelled right, it’s done right”. Not to take sides or anything, but I think Matt’s is the original.
We totally had a blast in Minneapolis and the burgers were great. We didn’t go to either Matt’s or the 5-8–we ended up at another good dive, one near my cousin’s place. They (and seemingly everywhere else in town) had their own rendition of the Jucy Lucy, along with cheap pitchers of beer, pull-tabs to win a side of beef and plenty of pool tables.
I was reminiscing about last summer’s vacation recently–probably when it was reaching 108 degrees here in Sacramento, I was dreaming of all of those glorious cool lakes–and got to thinking about this burger. It was a perfect storm one day last weekend when I happened to have all of these ingredients all together and ready to go.
I started with some premium ground beef mix that I bought at Corti Brother’s grocery. I’m sure your local butcher has a premium ground beef mix–it seems to be the trend these days, but if not, a good 80/20 ground chuck will be great. (That’s 80% lean, 20% fat).
I messed with the cheese mixture inside the burger, too. Usually it’s just straight American. I started with my favorite American, Land O’Lakes (it tastes great and has a lovely melty quality) along with an extra-sharp cheddar to punch up the flavor. Bacon? Why not? Just one slice per burger–but why not go ahead and get some lovely thick-cut applewood smoked bacon?
Grill the burgers (flip gently!) over high heat, or in a hot cast iron pan. The patties are thin so cook them quickly if you want medium-rare. I think it was only a few minutes on each side.
Of course, toast those buns too, just a little, and layer on plenty of Best Foods mayo. Dress ‘em up with some heirloom tomato slices, onion slices and the lettuce of your choosing. I’m not lying when I say this may be the best burger I’ve ever made.