I have a shameful addiction to watching road-food shows. I will watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network for hours on end, and have been known to put on Man Vs. Food on Netflix often. I like to see what food different cities are known for, what seemingly impossible restaurants exist in towns that I know I'll never go to, and what people will do for the sake of television. It's entertaining, what can I say?
On one particular episode of Man Vs. Food, Adam went to Minneapolis, Minnesota to take down some bratwurst monstrosity. The challenges are never really something I'm interested in, but the little mom-and-pop places he visits before the challenge are really interesting. In this episode, he goes to two dueling hamburger joints who both claim to have invented the Juicy Lucy. (Go to 1:30 to see what I'm talking about...) From what I gathered, a Juicy Lucy is simply a reverse cheeseburger. That is, the cheese is stuffed between two patties, instead of layered on the outside. The cheese oozes out of the burger in what I can only assume is the temperature of lava. Awesome, right?
What does this have to do with this recipe post? Well I'll tell you. I asked K what he wanted to eat this week, and he said,
"what about fancy burgers?"
and I said, "what is a fancy burger?"
and he said "like the kind with the cheese on the inside! From that show!"
and I said "Yeah, yeah, that show! OK!"
We're easy to please around here. So fancy burgers it was.
I started with some carmelized onions, because I heard about yet another burger that I wanted to try from a wonderful little pub in the city that has carmelized onions on the inside. I figured, two birds, one burger. So I diced up two onions in what is to-date the best dice I've ever done, and sauted them on low heat for about 40 minutes.
When they were sweet and soft, I removed them from the heat and set aside.
While this was cooking, I preheated the oven to 425 degrees and started prepping my baked french fries. Don't let the "baked" fool you, I'm certain they were just as sinful as regular fries, but I didn't have to actually fry anything, which my kitchen appreciates. I washed and cut up two russet potatoes into about 1cm strips, tossed in olive oil and Seasoned Salt, and baked in the oven for about 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes or so I would take them out and toss them around so that each side got good and crispy.
While these were in the oven, I assembled my burgers. I don't have any pictures of the process, due to raw-meat-hands, but I'll try to explain it as best I can.
So, like, first I took the raw meat? And then, like, I took a piece of cheddar cheese?... Just kidding. I'll explain better than that.
What I really did was combine about 1 lb of ground beef with the carmelized onions. I mixed these together just until the onions were well incorporated, but trying my darndest not to over mix, because everyone says that an over mixed burger is a bad burger. Then I formed 4 patties about 1/2 inch thick and about 5 inches in diameter. Then I took 1 slice of cheddar cheese and folded into fourths, so that instead of 1 big slice, I had four small slices stacked on top of each other. If you watch the video above, this will make more sense. I put the cheese in the middle of one pattie, then took another pattie and stacked it on top of the cheese. I sealed the edges and repeated for the other two patties. I seasoned each side of the burger with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When the burgers were assembled and seasoned, I put them in a preheated pan so that a nice sear would form and seal in the juices. Here's a trick that I learned from Minneapolis, though. Danger! Poke a hole in the top of the burger or the cheese will explode!
I cooked the burgers on each side for about 4-5 minutes.
After a while, this started happening:
And I knew, right then, that I had done a good thing.
I served the burgers on toasted Kaiser rolls that we had picked up from the bakery that day (fancy burgers require fresh rolls). I also put more of the carmelized onions on top of the burger, along with some lettuce.
I served the baked french fries along with the burger, and even though they were a bit of a mess to look at, they actually did get very crispy and were really, really good. Also, I didn't have to hose my kitchen down from the layer of grease that would inevitably be on everything had I fried them. Win, win.
Oh, but the inside. The gooey, lava-cheese. The star of the show!
Look at that, would you?
Here's one more, just in case.
All in all it was a delicious and filling meal, and I think Adam Richmond, the Man of Man vs. Food, would be proud.
This is a fun spin on a classic cheeseburger, and if you're feeling adventurous, I would definitely recommend it. If you're content with your normal un-reversed cheeseburger, then go on with your bad self, although I'd still recommend the carmelized onions no matter what. Those were gooood.
These were fun to make and to eat, and I like fun. Hope you guys have a good weekend!