Posts Tagged ‘Onions’

Being a dyed- in –the wool, certified meatophile carnivore, I often find myself longing for those glorious chunks of heaven which are the holy grail of the grill- the cheese burger! So, when a recent episode of Michael Symon’s Food Feuds introduced me to a Minnesota regional favorite known as the Juicy Lucy (or Jucy Lucy depending on local preferences) I decided to give the dish a try adding my own spin.

As if molten globs of hot, gooey cheese oozing forth from half a lb. of charred beef weren’t enough, when I tried my hand at this puppy, I figured we could take it up yet another notch. My version being a Bourbon and Cola glazed affair slathered with caramelized onion, finished off with a nice dollop of Vidalia onion fig sauce all nestled into a warm, toasty corn meal dusted bun. The Pièce de résistance- a warm, creamy smoked Gouda tucked into the center.

This two fisted onslaught is a meal in itself but as the food gods know, no burger is complete without fries. We stuck with a hearty steak fry seasoned with a bit of the grill seasoning left over from the burger recipe. A sweet potato version would also be a nice departure with it from time to time.

As most of you know, the use of quality ingredients is key in bringing your best to the table. Leslie and I lean heavily in favor of fresh, locally produced, organic products in most of our meal offerings. Being a Kentucky girl, Leslie insists there be no other bourbon aside from one produced in her home state and we have found each we have tried imparts a unique flavor element. Among our favorites, we have found Woodford Reserve to be wonderfully suited for both cooking and sipping. Woodford’s, with its creamy Vanilla, sweet caramel, delicate butteriness, and a touch of fruitiness, makes for a perfect compliment in my recipes. Equally great is Buffalo Trace-a fine Kentucky sipper which features a rather handsome label which I am partial to for the fact that it was produced by my uncle, nationally claimed artist Lee Cable. It doesn’t hurt that the bourbon contained inside is of excellent quality also.

When it comes to cheeses, Ohio may just give the famed cheese of Wisconsin a good run for the money. The Amish community of Holmes County is home to several small farm producers such as Heini’s and Guggisberg. My son, a notoriously finicky eater, will covet an entire roll of the extra creamy baby Swiss the folks at Guggisberg turn out. I believe my next bout with the Juicy Lucy will include that same cheese-maybe with some buttery, sautéed mushrooms?

We had a major grilling epiphany this summer when discovered Cowboy brand, an all natural hardwood charcoal. The stuff is made from 100% natural. Lights without chemicals. It Cooks in 1/2 the time of briquettes. The best part being there are NO off tastes or flavors from chemicals. We’ve also found we uses less charcoal per fire than briquettes. Makes for a safer environment. I’ve also experimented with a variety of hardwoods to enhance the flavor of our grilled foods, Applewood and Hickory being my personal favorites for their roundness of flavor.

If  this has you salivating and ready to fire up the grill even though cooler temps are setting in, here is the scoop on the burger recipe-

Juicy Lucy Burger

Serves 4

1 lb. fresh ground sirloin

1 lb. fresh 80% fresh ground chuck

2 Tbls. Rendered bacon fat

1 ½ tea. Kosher salt

1 ½ tea. fresh Ground Black pepper

2 Tbls. Worcestershire Sauce

1 cup Kentucky Bourbon

1 cup Cola ( Coke is it! )

1 medium sweet onion

2 Tbls.unsalted butter

½ lb Hickory Smoked Gouda cheese

Combine ground sirloin, ground chuck, and rendered bacon fat with 1 ½ tea. Kosher salt and 1 ½ tea. Ground pepper. Add 2 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce and mix together. With a burger press, form ¼ patties with the beef. Approx.8 total. The flavors will merge well and these will cook best if these are allowed to sit covered overnight in the fridge.

To prep the burgers for the grill, cut four squares of Smoked Gouda, about 2 inches each. Place in the middle of two beef patties and press the edges firmly together. Be sure the edges are well sealed so the cheese doesn’t ooze out during cooking. Season the burgers generously with grill seasoning, then place on hot grill. Turn the burgers once then Glaze with Bourbon Cola mixture. Turn the burgers again, repeat glaze then cook until medium rare. This, I believe, brings out the full flavor of the dish and gives you a nice, juicy burger. Hence, THE JUICY LUCY!

In the mean time:

Slice one whole sweet onion and place into a sauté pan with 2 Tbls. Melted butter and 2 Tbls. Cola. Brown low heat until nicely caramelized. Topped finished Burger with Onions and Sweet Vidalia Onion Fig Sauce.  Place on corn meal dusted buns which have been lightly grilled.

Grill Seasoning

1 Tbls Sea Salt

1 Tbls dehydrated Onion

1 Tbls Fresh Ground Black pepper

1 Tbls Fresh or Dried Thyme

1 Tbls Tarragon

1 Tbls Garlic powder

½ Tbls Fennel Seed

3 Bay leaves crushed

Combine all ingredients.

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