Friday, 6 September 2013

Battle of the Burgers 2013 - the Red Tractor burger cook-off

On Friday 6 September I was a member of a panel of judges presiding over the final of the Simply Lamb and Beef 'Battle of the Burgers' competition. The eight finalists competed in a live cook off for their chance to win £2,000, and the respect of their friends, family, and judges.



After a heated shortlisting process, we narrowed it down to the following eight recipes, which the finalists proceeded to cook for us on the day. They had 1 hour to prepare and cook all the ingredients, their aim: to create the perfect burger!
  • The Bengal burger was created by Phil Roe: This recipe is for a lamb burger and combined a host of spices together into the patty, before cooking in a pan and dressing it into a ciabatta bun. This was finished off with a yoghurt dressing and poppadum.
The Bengal Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
The Bengal Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
  • Chilli Steak burger from Mark ThomasMark's trimmed, minced sirloin steak burger was served on a spelt sourdough bun baked by his daughter, it combined beef with home-smoked chipotle, chilli, and coriander, topped with dark beetroot, beef tomato and sour cream. I was a smokey, earthy burger, but needed a hit of salt for the meat, which on reflection was on the lean side - meaning it lacked juciness.
Chilli Steak Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
Chilli Steak Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
  • Berry Glaze burger from Alison Davies: Alison's burger was minced on site from beef that came from cows on her farm, and topped with a foraged blackberry glaze and spring onion, wrapped in a soft white roll. Unfortunately on the day, and possibly as a result of mincing on site, the beef had been overworked leaving a soft and squidgy mouthfeel with the patty, and the beef was also underseasoned.
  • Pan-Asian Delight burger from Lucy PasifullLucy's Asian-influenced burger was also based around beef, but a combination of miso mayonnaise, oriental pickled cucumber, and soy, fish and oyster sauce brought a twist. For all the flavours being great, the judges felt the meat was light on seasoning, and the beef had been overworked, so was too soft and squidgy in the mouth. 
Pan-Asian Delight Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
Pan-Asian Delight Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
  • Blue Cheese Aioli burger from Owen Bain: Owen took some of the best ingredients available to home cooks - his beef was a combination of cuts of chuck, brisket, and forerib from The Butchery, buns were semi-brioche from St John Bakery, bacon jam was from jerky specialist Billy Franks, and candied bacon, all combined with a blue cheese aioli. It was a great burger, but there was a lot going on in a single mouthful, with the patty slightly underseasoned. Ulitmately the judges felt the chemistry was missing from this burger.
Blue Cheese Aioli Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
Blue Cheese Aioli Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
  • The J-Bomb burger from Craig Osborne: Craig's burger had all the judges excited - his beef burger included a Jagermeister relish, red bull onions, gruyere crisp, and his own potato rolls. It packed a boozy punch, and the buns were PHENOMENAL, but for the judges the red bull onions were too powerful to carry the burger.
J-Bomb Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
J-Bomb Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
  • The Incredible 5-Onion burger from Marcus Alexander: At the core of this recipe was beef, but the magic came from Marcus' use of onions - no less than five different styles of onions were included in this burger, including: IPA-battered onion rings; shallot relish; caramelised onions; burnt onion powder; and onion crisps. Incredible! It's only downfall was seasoning in the burger on the day. 
Incredible 5-onion Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
Incredible 5-onion Burger - Battle of the Burgers 2013
    And finally, the winner:
    • Mum's Sunday Lunch burger created by Jenny LongThis was an innovative recipe that combined a lamb burger stuffed with minted peas with a breaded cauliflower cheese patty, wrapped in yorkshire puddings and served with a side of parsnip and carrot 'chips' and a little pot of gravy. The flavours worked really well, and the crisp of the yorkshire complemented the soft cauli cheese and lamb patty. It really was like a sunday lunch in burger form!
    Mum's Sunday Lunch Burger - Winner of Battle of the Burgers 2013
    Mum's Sunday Lunch Burger - Winner of Battle of the Burgers 2013
    Congratulations to all the finalists - great work making it through to the final - I really enjoyed meeting you all - it felt much more GBBO than Masterchef!

    I was super-excited to be judging these fine burger creations with fellow burger blogger The Burger Addict, former JLS band member JB Gill, who's given up the world of music and fame to become a farmer, Denise - simply Lamb and Beef's home economist, and Catherine, a freelance journalist.

    A big thank you to Simply Lamb and Beef, and Red Tractor...see you again in 2014!

    3 comments:

    1. Nice write up.
      Imagine underseasoning your burger, what a rookie error :/
      Cracked under pressure & completely forgot my mini pot of sea salt/smoked sea salt/black pepper (45/45/10%) until already had patties in the pan.
      Oh well at least you didn't taste the charcoal from setting my buns on fire :)!

      ReplyDelete
    2. Hi Nick - what a great right up! Lovely to meet you on the day.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Thanks Jenny - really enjoyed the day, well done on the sunday lunch burger, impressive stuff.

      ReplyDelete

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