Juicy Lucy

USA

The surprise of this burger is on the inside, hint hint: it’s ooey gooey cheese

SUBMITTED BY

Arden

The Juicy Lucy is another twist on the classic American hamburger that was created in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Born in the 1950s, this innovative burger basically takes a cheeseburger and turns it inside out. Instead of topping the patty with cheese, the Juicy Lucy hides a molten cheese core within the beef, resulting in a gooey, cheesy surprise. This unique burger has become a local legend, sparking friendly rivalry between two Minneapolis establishments, each claiming to be its true inventor.

Arden, a subscriber born and raised in the Midwest and currently living in Minneapolis, submitted this iconic dish. She describes how the cheese-stuffed patty creates a juicier, more flavorful burger that often requires fewer toppings than its traditional counterpart. Arden’s personal favorite uses blue cheese, which she says pairs perfectly with the beef.

To create your own Juicy Lucy, start by dividing your seasoned ground beef into eight thin patties. Place cheese (traditionally American cheese slices, but feel free to experiment) in the center of one patty, then top it with another patty, sealing the edges to trap the cheese inside. Caramelize onions in butter for a sweet, savory topping. Cook the stuffed patties in a hot skillet, to develop a nice sear on each side. Be patient and resist the urge to cut into them too soon. You want that cheese to stay inside! Toast your buns in the same pan, then assemble your burger with pickles and caramelized onions.

This is a good burger! The burger itself is massive and the blue cheese gave it such a deliciously strong, stinky flavor that paired perfectly with the beef. Even though some cheese escaped during cooking, it didn’t matter. The inside was still wonderfully gooey. The pickles added a bright contrast, while the caramelized onions brought a lovely sweetness. I was surprised to find it didn’t need any extra sauce. The simple salt and pepper seasoning allowed for a great sear, creating a flavorful crust. Stuffing a burger is brilliant and the name “Juicy Lucy ” couldn’t be more fitting for this cheesy, deliciousness. It’s an easy-to-make burger that packs a punch!

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Ingredients
  

  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • lb ground beef
  • 4 sliced American cheese or other cheese of your choosing, I used blue
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp neutral oil
  • hamburger buns
  • pickles

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons salt and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Divide the beef into four equal portions, then halve each of those portions. Gently roll each portion into a ball using the palm of your hand, then flatten each into a disk shape on a large cutting board, pressing with your fingers and palm until just over 4 inches wide and ¼-inch thick. Repeat to form eight patties. Season both sides of each patty with the salt-and-pepper blend.
  • Add one slice cheese to the center of one patty, folding any overhanging corners of the cheese inward. Using a spatula, lift another patty from the cutting board and place it on top of the cheese, pressing gently to connect both patties. Gently pinch the edges of the patties together to thoroughly seal, then use your fingers to round the edges by pressing and patting along the perimeter. Repeat with the remaining patties, forming three more burgers, and set aside.
  • In a large (preferably 12-inch) cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, adding 2 tablespoons water about every 5 minutes to prevent burning, until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Once the onions are caramelized, transfer them to a bowl. (If you have any bits left in the pan, wipe them out.)
  • Add the oil to the skillet to lightly coat the bottom and heat over medium-high until scalding-hot, about 2 minutes. Add the burgers and cook until seared and dark brown on the outside, 3 to 5 minutes per side. (You’ll want to let the burgers cook undisturbed as long as possible to develop a crisp sear and to prevent them from splitting. Their insides will cook through by the time the outsides form a proper sear. Resist the urge to cut them open, as the cheese will spurt out.) Transfer burgers to a clean cutting board to rest.
  • Meanwhile, toast the buns: Scrape up and remove from the pan any cheese that may have leaked, leaving a thin layer of accumulated fat in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium. Working in batches, toast the buns cut-side down until warmed and toasted in spots, about 1 minute. Form sandwiches by layering pickles, patties, then caramelized onions on buns. Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe inspired by New York Times Cooking
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Region: North America

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Juicy Lucy

The surprise of this burger is on the inside, hint hint: it’s ooey gooey cheese