Contains: Dairy. Is: Quick and easy, gluten-free, keto.
Out in the USA Midwest somewhere, there’s been a newish burger, named the Jucy Lucy. It is basically ground beef wrapped around a huge chuck of melt-able cheese, and then pan fried or possibly grilled. When the burger is bitten into, it will explode out with molten cheeses. If it existed when I was a kid, I never heard of it, and I doubt either of my parents had, either. To this date, I’ve yet to eat a genuine one.
Mom often made up ground beef (very occasionally lamb) patties with some small chopped bits of cheese, most frequently a sharp (termed “strong”, in other parts of the world) orange cheddar, hand-mixed into the interior. She’d add in other seasonings – a small pinch of salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, Lee and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, and on occasion, even A1 sauce. This would either be pan fried, or grilled. Btw, although she didn’t always add cheddar, both she and Dad would NEVER EVER buy pre-formed supermarket patties. Always too flat, and didn’t lend to creativity of seasoning (plus the pre-formed cost more).
A recent challenge at CookingBites.com has some of us coming up with recipes using the ingredient “cheddar”. This is one of those!
I’m calling this a “Lucy Burger”, because this was indeed my Mom’s name! Lucy, short for Lucille, part of our Old Kentucky Home (Louisville) family heritage. I don’t think she’d have loved the adjective, “jucy” or “juicy” appended in front, however. (She never cared much for her name, anyway.)
My parents would serve burgers in buns, but even as a kid, I’d decline the bun for any second burger, and have it straight up on the plate, with lettuce, sliced onion, and sliced tomatoes – the last only being served in tomato season. Even then, no one in the family liked cardboard tomatoes! We had mustard and ketchup – I never eat ketchup these days, but using it was okay back when I was a child. Mustard was nearly always Dijon, even then. Sometimes basic yellow, however.
Even though I only had a half-pound of ground meat, I wrote the recipe directions for what is needed for a pound, as that is the increment ground meat is often found in.
I guess one advantage of this burger over a genuine Jucy Lucy is that the cheese inside isn’t found in one large bolus, but is dispersed – far minimizes the chance of mouth burn!
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes.
Cook Time: 10 minutes max.
Rest Time: 2 minutes.
Servings: 4 quarter-pounders, easily adapted to six smaller ones.
Leftovers: Yes, I do prefer to refrigerate the prepared patties and eat them within a day.
Mom’s Cheddar Lucy Burger
- 1 Pound ground beef (or lamb)
- 3-3.5 ounces sharp or strong cheddar cheese, chopped into approximately 1/4 inch cubes.
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil (I use healthy avocado oil).
- As desired: a burger bun per serving; leaf lettuce, thin slices of raw white or yellow onion, slices of tomato.
- Mustard (Dijon or yellow) and ketchup, hot sauce, as desired.
- Extra cheese to top, as desired
In a bowl, hand mix: ground meat, cheese, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, until most ingredients are internally incorporated.
Break into four patties, gently flattening, do not pound. Patties will be about 0.5 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
In a suitable skillet, add the oil, and bring the temperature to medium or just under medium. A drop of water should sizzle.
Add the patties, creating a dimple in the topside of each patty.
Cook on one side for about 6-8 minutes, then flip and cook another three. Depending on the heat level in your skillet, and the quality of the meat you are cooking, you may want to cook these longer, until no longer pink and no juices run. Your call. Another option (not done today) is to fire up your grill and cook accordingly to the way you usually cook your burgers, especially considering they should be thicker than the supermarket pre-formed patties.
Have everyone assemble their own burgers as they choose! You can even provide extra slices of cheddar for those people who don’t think the burgers already have enough.
Yes, smaller patties will work just as well – you can get six good burgers out of a pound of meat.
There were occasions where Mom made burger patties with chopped yellow onion to approximately the same size and amount, instead of the cheese bits, but omitting the chopped cheese. She’d pan fry them to a simple translucent appearance, allow to cool briefly, then form the burgers. I loved those just as much.
These burgers can be (and often were) adapted to the grill.