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Food For Thought: Horseshoe Spoon

By Courtesy of Secret Recipes Catering at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (Springfield, IL)


Springfield, Illinois is known as the home of President Abraham Lincoln, but for locals, it’s also known for its signature dish, the Horseshoe. This open-faced sandwich was originally created in 1920 at the town’s Leland Hotel and was composed of thick toasted bread, a hamburger patty, French fries, and a special cheese sauce. Today, many Springfield chefs and restaurants have their own version, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. This appetizer option, created by Chef Chip Kennedy, is often served at events.

1 lb. ground Kobe beef
2 Idaho potatoes

Ingredients for the classic cheese sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
3/4 cup beer (preferably a lager), at room temperature

To prepare the meat and potatoes:
1. Form the ground Kobe beef into 24 half-ounce patties, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Using a skillet over medium heat, quickly sear the patties on each side.
3. Slice the potatoes julienne-style using a mandolin.
4. Fry the potatoes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until crisp (about 7 to 10 minutes).

To prepare the cheese sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to combine and cook for a couple minutes until the flour loses its raw taste.
3. Whisk in the milk, salt, mustard, and cayenne pepper.
4. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is quite thick.
5. Remove the saucepan from the stove, and then add the Worcestershire sauce and cheese, and stir until the cheese is completely melted.
6. Whisk in the beer, and return the saucepan to the stove. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce comes to a slight simmer, but do not let it boil.

To assemble the sandwich:
1. Place a beef patty on an appetizer spoon, and pour a teaspoon of the cheese sauce on top.
2. Then, top with a few French fries, and serve immediately.

Makes 24.

Get Connected
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
Springfield, IL
(217) 558.8873