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Monday, July 14, 2014

Calcaterra: The Great Jucy Lucy Hunt

So a Ground Rule Double IPA can be expensed if you’re a baseball writer? Good to know.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The first thing I planned to do once I got into town and set my suitcase down on Saturday evening was to go get a Jucy Lucy. What is a Jucy Lucy, you ask? It’s a cheeseburger that has the cheese inside the meat patty in addition to on top. It’s a thing here in the Twin Cities. ....Getting my Jucy Lucy was a process. It started by me getting into the elevator in my hotel and encountering my friend Keith Law, of ESPN. If you know Keith you know that his passion for and knowledge of fine cuisine is just as great as it is of and for baseball. I have dined with Keith before and his judgment has never steered me wrong, so I was more than a little unsettled when our conversation went like this: ...

{JucyLucyPic.jpg blocked, not safe for work}

Oh, baby. If you ever get one, though, heed the server’s warning about it being very hot. That cheese is molten and it’ll melt your face off, bro.

Greg Franklin Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:02 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star game, beer, community, food

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. DL from MN Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4750237)
Blame Obama for the line out the door at Matt's.
   2. Davo Dozier Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4750244)
Normally there's no line at Matt's, since it has all the atmosphere and decor of a heroin den.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4750253)
I'll never understand the desire to ruin a perfectly good piece of beef with cheese.
   4. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4750275)
I'm not much of a carnivore, especially where red meat is concerned, but does most hamburger qualify as "a perfectly good piece of beef"? Depends on the source, I'm sure.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4750347)
Don't cheeseburgers already have enough cheese? People in Minnesota must be so fat that I could blend in completely without a single rude comment directed my way. In fact, they might say, "hey, have you lost weight" and I'd say "no but thanks, still stuffing extra cheese inside my cheeseburgers".

That's it, I'm moving as obviously cheeseburgers cannot have too much cheese.
   6. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: July 14, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4750382)
Normally there's no line at Matt's, since it has all the atmosphere and decor of a heroin den.
I've been there twice so far. Your description of the atmosphere is accurate. But on one of my visits was at midday and it was packed. The other was right as it opened (at 11, I think) and there were already three or four people lined up outside.

The Jucy Lucy is a cromulent burger. Definitely worth trying, especially if you get it to go. But the best burgers in the city are at either the My Burger on Excelsior or Andy's Garage at the Global Market. (Now I hope that someone disagrees so I have an excuse to go burger hunting.)
   7. Leroy Kincaid Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4750411)
Seems most heart-attacks are well deserved.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4750416)
The Jucy Lucy is a cromulent burger. Definitely worth trying, especially if you get it to go. But the best burgers in the city are at either the My Burger on Excelsior or Andy's Garage at the Global Market. (Now I hope that someone disagrees so I have an excuse to go burger hunting.)

From one of my rare 5 minute pauses on the Travel Channel, there is another place with an emphasis on correct spelling and more cheese options that claims its Juicy Lucy is the original.
   9. salvomania Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4750427)
I've been to the Nook, which features a number of burgers named after Twin Cities sports stars, several times and my favorite is their Paul Molitor burger, stuffed with pepper jack...
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4750438)
I'm not much of a carnivore, especially where red meat is concerned, but does most hamburger qualify as "a perfectly good piece of beef"? Depends on the source, I'm sure.

If not, you shouldn't eat it. If someone's going to throw some 40% fat chuck monstrosity on a bun, just pass, and grill a decent sirloin burger at home.
   11. morineko Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4750462)
For those not near the Twin Cities who would like to try this themselves Nordic Ware has some sort of burger press that is intended for the at-home manufacture of Jucy Lucys although they do not use that term on the packaging. I haven't tried it as the city I live in has a bar that serves an adequate one and the 5-8 Club is opening a new location about a mile from here in a few months.
   12. Greg Franklin Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4750468)
It sounds like that Ground Rule Double IPA was in fact a double IPA, and two of them knocked Craig for a loop! Was it any good?

ISTR Anthony Bourdain visited both Matt's and Saffron in one of his Midwest visits....
   13. HOLLA(R) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 12:28 AM (#4750480)
Speaking from the professional ranks, if you want to make one at home, don't shell out for some piece of kitchen equipment. Get yourself some pvc piping from the hardware store, a flat lid or something random that fits inside it (And that you don't have objections to coming in contact with food) snugly and some patty paper. Put a piece of patty paper on a flat surface. Place the pvc on it. Put half of your burger inside and press it down. Add the cheese. put the other half of the burger meat on top, roughly smoothed out. Put a second piece of patty paper on top. Press it down with the lid. Remove the apparatus and smooth the edges of the burger.

It works, and it's cheaper than buying something at a kitchen store. It'll probably last forever, too. Get creative with the cheese. But use something solid. Using a soft cheese is asking for trouble.
   14. TFTIO is familiar with the work of Pablo Neruda Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:13 AM (#4750519)
Nothing in the world is worse than the river of boiling cheese that adheres to your soft palette after you forget how badly you scalded the iodide of your mouth the last time.
   15. McCoy Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:03 AM (#4750523)
Pressing ground beef seems like a bad idea to me. Are we making burgers or meatballs here? Why go through all the trouble of putting cheese in the middle of a burger when you can you just order a double burger?
   16. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4750542)
Why am I not the least bit surprised that Keith Law is a snob who fancies himself too good to eat a cheeseburger?
   17. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4750548)
Why go through all the trouble of putting cheese in the middle of a burger when you can you just order a double burger?


That ... yeah. That sort of occurred to me.

Also, I guess, people are stupid.
   18. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4750550)
Why go through all the trouble of putting cheese in the middle of a burger when you can you just order a double burger?

What part of "river of boiling cheese scalding your soft palate" escapes you??? If you can't see the appeal of that, well then my friend...
   19. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4750560)
I have lived in the Twin Cities since 91 (and went to college 4 years in the late '80s) and I have never had a Juicy Lucy. No reason, and I love me some cheese and burger, just has not happened. And now I want one.
   20. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4750572)
Why am I not the least bit surprised that Keith Law is a snob who fancies himself too good to eat a cheeseburger?


I might say the same thing about snapper. And not to pick on snapper specifically, but good Lord the pretentiosness level around here is dialed up to 11. "If someone's going to throw some 40% fat chuck monstrosity on a bun, just pass, and grill a decent sirloin burger at home." Who does that? "Hey, great party Dan, but I see you're making crap burgers, so I'm gonna go home, make a superior burger, and eat it all alone."
   21. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4750576)
And what if the bun isn't made from stone-ground organically grown wheat? What then?
   22. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4750587)
And what if the bun isn't made from stone-ground organically grown wheat? What then?

You forgot "hand-crafted, shade grown, free ranging wheat".

The classic order that makes you go "Huh?" is: a triple cheeseburger, large order of fries, and a Diet Coke.
   23. Greg Franklin Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4750592)
You forgot "gluten-free" ... it's a must.
   24. DA Baracus Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4750594)
And what if the bun isn't made from stone-ground organically grown wheat? What then?


Bring your own artisan toast.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4750595)
If not, you shouldn't eat it. If someone's going to throw some 40% fat chuck monstrosity on a bun, just pass, and grill a decent sirloin burger at home.


A huge percentage of meat's flavor is delivered by fat. (For example if you eat really lean lamb or goat it's difficult to distinguish it from beef) Sirloin doesn't have enough fat to make a good burger, in my opinion. (The reason that sirloin is a prized cut is that it is fairly tender, an advantage which is totally lost if it's been ground and formed into a patty. You probably won't taste much difference between ground sirloin and cheaper ground round.) Also when the burger is that lean it really really needs to be cooked rare or mid-rare - not much fat makes it comparatively dry and thus more unforgiving of overcooking.

Source: I am the exec chef for a small restaurant group that is known for its burgers.
   26. Lassus Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4750614)
PF, would we ever see you on a cooking competition show, or is that just not your thing?
   27. Dan Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4750621)
"Hey, great party Dan, but I see you're making crap burgers, so I'm gonna go home, make a superior burger, and eat it all alone."


Whoa now, what is wrong with my burgers?
   28. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4750652)
The Jucy Lucy was yet another thing that was a terrible disappointment about Minneapolis, the worst place in the entire universe. Not worthing hunting.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: July 15, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4750659)
Lassus, it's definitely not my thing. No interest in it at all. I'm not a big fan of doing media stuff to begin with. Reality tv? No way.
   30. Lassus Posted: July 15, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4750738)
Figured, just checking. A random producer connection, thought I'd ask.
   31. DL from MN Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4750826)
Minneapolis, the worst place in the entire universe


Did you visit in January?
   32. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4750839)
Minneapolis, the worst place in the entire universe.


Once more Lordsburg, N.M., sneers in your & also Minneapolis' general direction(s).
   33. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 15, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4750840)
Did you visit in January?


He visited the mirror MN I think or something.
   34. steagles Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4750903)
And what if the bun isn't made from stone-ground organically grown wheat? What then?
wow, there are still people who don't use sprouted grains? where do you live? auschwitz?
   35. McCoy Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4750945)
I top out at about 25% fat in my burger.

From the last burger thread we had:

1. Choose a blend of well marbled meats and chill the meat deeply. The authors likes short rib, aged rib eye, and hanger the best. They want a burger with 25% fat or better known as 75% lean.

2. Chill grinder to just above 32 degrees.

3. Cut away any large chunks of fat from the meat and cut into cubes that are about 3/4 inch on a side. Chill meat to 30 degrees. Do not salt.

4. Grind the cubes. Don't force the meat through. Let the grinder do the work. The meat should be ground using a grinding plate with an aperture size between 1/8 to 3/16.

5. Collect the extruded meat in a cylindrical mold cut in half and lined with plastic wrap. Keep the strands as long as possible. Building up layers as the meat is extruded.

6. Repeat with a second mold and then combine the two molds.

7. Use the wrap to pull the meat out of the mold. Tighten the wrap to gently to compress the cylinder of meat.

8. Using a sharp knife cut the cylinder into desired thickness for patties. The tube can be frozen for later use but will have to be sawed into patties.

9. Cook, season, and garnish. Note that at no time in this process do you add salt and other flavorings. You do that after the cooking is done. Adding salts or other binders will make the burger rubbery. But if you want you can do it after you made the patties and if you are cooking them right away.


   36. BDC Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4750950)
I've never been in Minneapolis, really. I was in St. Paul in February once and it was amazingly awesomely great. Maybe you go through the looking glass as you cross the river.
   37. McCoy Posted: July 15, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4750957)
On a side note I gave this recipe to a sous chef of mine and explained the pvc pipe mold to him. So what does he do? He saws the middle of the PVC pipe width wise and not length wise! So he takes a 3 foot section of PVC pipe and makes two 1.5 foot pipes and then stuffs them with ground beef and freezes them. Gee golly, when it comes time to use the burger he discovers he can't get the burger out of the little. Needless to say he no longer works within the company.
   38. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4750991)
Needless to say he no longer works within the company.


Which Wilpon was this?

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