The Jucy Lucy, blogged to AHT from the Flickr photostream of Max Sparber

So I've been making such a big deal about this Jucy Lucy burger at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis lately, eh?

I can't help it. The thing just sounds so good—a molten core of oozing cheese sandwiched between two patties. Well, since I'm not going to be on a plane bound for the Twin Cities anytime soon, I figure I'll try to make one. For the occasion, I've adapted a recipe from John T. Edge's book Hamburger & Fries. Lemme share it with you.

The Juicy Loosey
- makes 4 burgers -

You'll need an unlikely piece of equipment to prepare this burger, but you should have it on hand already—an ordinary standard-issue toothpick. You'll want to quickly prick the distended patty after flipping it to allow steam to escape.

And, hey, YOU! Yes, you with the cheddar. Put that down. You MUST use American cheese on this. According to Mr. Edge, "Only those orange squares of vaguely plastic texture will achieve proper fluidity."

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (AHT recommends no leaner than 80%)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 slices American cheese (NOT cheddar; see note above)

4 buns

Your favorite condiments and toppings


Procedure
1. Place beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper in a bowl; mix well. Portion into eight even units. Shape each portion into a thin round patty that's slightly larger than the cheese slice.

2. Fold cheese slices in half twice so you have a little stack of quartered cheese slices. Place a folded cheese stack on 4 the patties, covering cheese with remaining 4 patties.

3. Tightly crimp the edges of the patties together to form a tight seal.

4. Did you make a tight seal? I hope so, because it needs to be TIGHT to avoid a blowout as the cheese melts, creates steam, and tries to find its way out of its meaty prison.

5. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan to medium heat (or fire up a medium-hot bed of coals on your backyard grill), and cook burgers over heat 3 to 4 minutes on first side. Burger may puff up due to steam from melting cheese. This is normal. Do not be alarmed.

6. Flip, and using toothpick, prick top of burger to allow for steam escape. Allow burger to cook 3 to 4 minutes on this side.

7. Remove patties from pan or grill. Bun those suckers, slap some condiments on, and dig in.

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