According to sources on the internet such as Wikipedia and other blogs and/or websites, the odd named hamburgers were concocted during the Great Depression of the 1930’s when both meat and money were scarce and almost non-existence for the working poor. For many folks during the depression a biscuit with some lard on it was breakfast and lunch was a piece of cornbread with more lard spread on it. These hard times called for extra ordinary ideas to survive in the restaurant business and in North Mississippi the slugburger gained popularity among the working poor. These were originally a working man’s sandwich, with a small amount of ground beef (or a mystery meat) with flour, bread or someother extender added to it. Then they were deep fried in lard and slapped on a couple of pieces of bread with some mustard and onions.
And while they may not sound good into today’s world of cheap fast food, they were the burger of choice for a working man because they only cost a nickel.
The burgers were originally brought to North Mississippi in 1917 by John Weeks when he moved from Chicago to North Mississippi. Weeks starting selling the burger concoction out of a shack in Corinth, MS and in those days the burgers were called “Weeksburger,” however, soon the nickname slugburger was given them because in those days the Weeksburger cost only a nickel, and a nickel was called a slug. Willie Weeks, John Weeks’ grandson, still carries on the tradition today and Corinth, MS honors the lowly slugburger with the annual “Slugburger Festival.”
Here’s what another foodie has to say about the Slugburger:
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup self-rising flour
- 1 teaspoon Lawry’s season salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- dash of pepper
- Gently crumble the ground beef into a bowl.
- Add the flour and mix gently.
- Add three tablespoons milk and mix gently. The mixture should be moist, but not gooey. You can add a bit more flour, if needed.
- Form the meat into 4 patties and place on waxed paper. Cover with another piece of waxed paper.
- Using a cutting board, press down on the patties gently and flatten them. The finished patties should
- be thin and about the diameter of a saucer. They will shrink!
- Fry in a bit of oil until brown and crispy, turning only once, if possible. Don't press them with the spatula. I cook mine in an electric skillet, as its size accommodates all 4 patties.
- Remove from pan and top with cheese.
- Pour grease from skillet, but don’t wipe.
- Place buns in skillet, return to stove top and "toast" over medium heat.
- Place burgers on buns; add toppings and condiments of choice.