I’ve been in a mood for some experimentation, and lucky for me last night we were all in the mood for burgers, of which we already had three ground patties. So I figured I’d try a little riff on a Juicy Lucy that’s been floating in my head for a few days.
So, split each patty in half, flattening, and in the middle put a couple pieces of good-ol American cheese (the only REAL cheese one can use for a Juicy Lucy) and a whole egg yolk. Sadly, didn’t think about turning this into a blog post until after I added the top patties, so no pics of the yolk-in-burger. There is a nice shot of the little meat packages though; a good display of proper Lucy seal-age. And all of us who have tried know how important a good seal is along the edges.
Treated the buns like any good burger place would: Buttered and Grilled; makin’ sure of course to keep that 60-40 split.
Onto the burgers. Had to be especially delicate with these, considering its valuable cargo, but I think I pulled it off quite nicely (as you’ll see). Though, if you look closely, you can see one did end up squirting on the grill, which wasn’t surprising; had problems sealing that one anyway. It was fine, though; Dad decided he wasn’t going to tell us when he was coming home, so he got the one missing most of its filling.
Was a quick-make dinner, so ended up keeping the toppings simple. While I’m here, a little lesson on sandwich architecture! We’ve already covered the foundations for our structure, the bread (see Pulled Pork), now we get to the cement and woodwork. I start with a little mayo on the bottom, like a club; now, why is it that we usually spread some sort of butter, mayo, melted cheese, mustard, sauce, etc on the tops and bottoms of our sandwiches? Besides, of course, being easier than trying to spread it on a piece of lettuce, these oily sauces serve a very important function in Burgers: moisture retention.
By placing a barrier of rich, oil-based spread between the bun and other ingredients, one prevents the juices of said meat and/or watery vegetables from leaking into the bread and making it soggy. Which is why Bulldog NE covers the bottom of every one of their burgers in a flavorful aioli.
Has anyone actually wondered why we like tomatoes and ketchup so much on our burgers and sammiches? Besides tasty factor, the answer is quite simple, that being the tomato’s high amount of Acid. This is always a key factor when creating balance in quality dishes, and in a burger’s case it helps cut through the fattiness of cheese and meat. Speaking of which, ignore all these people who say how much better “lean meat” is. May be healthier, but all the juiciness, all the real FLAVOR from steaks and burgers come from the Fat. So ignore the expensive 95% “lean meat” and go for the high-fat, high-awesome stuff; hell, I’ve heard of a chef who take 70/30 and adds in ground fatback.
Mustard also helps with this, considering all the vinegar used in its creation. Last on my burger, a nice piece of lettuce; not much to say other than it stays crisp, helps with moisture barriers, and all that. Just remember kiddies: grab your leaves of lettuce from the CENTER of the head/heart/leaf-bundle-thingy. The best, sweetest part of any greens is the one hidden away from that bright sun, where it’s developed all but none of that bitter chlorophyll (and it is bitter, taste a dark green leaf to an inner light-green from the same lettuce head). Though the bitterness can come in use with some dishes… but I like the sweeter center better.
Burgers have rested a couple minutes while I finish building my sammich, and I’m ready to chow down. I will say, it’s a good thing I cut this thing before I took a pic, cuz there was a LOT of gooey-juicy stuff inside; lost quite a bit on the cutting board. But the cheese was perfect, the yolk was still nice n runny… and look how photogenic it was!
I say was since it didn’t last long… that was quite the successful experiment. Could really tell that the burger and cheese tasted “richer” from that yolk-fat, which also really heightened the naughty messiness of a good Lucy eating. If I did this again, though, I would SO add me some bacon, then do this on an English Muffin for a Breakfast-Lucy. Just need to find a big enough muffin to hold it… or try and get some smaller yolks…
As far as Street Food goes, this so does not fit the “holdability” factor at all. That said, I think it still has the spirit of a Food Truck item, even if one wouldn’t be caught in their right mind trying to produce it for a menu.
Where’s your favorite stuffed burger made?