Sunday 29 June 2014

[Special] 4th July Burger from The Diner

The Diner have created a new burger to mark Independence Day on 4th July.
With previous successes such as the Grab burger, and the now permanent Diablo burger, I was pretty excited when they invited me to come and sample it before it goes on general sale from Monday.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

[Special] Ronaldo Burger from Byron Hamburgers

It's still the world cup, right?

Cue a slew of appropriate and inappropriate, official and guerilla marketing opportunities for brands to jump on the bandwagon and feed off the expected £250m - £1bn in extra spending the English are expected to splash out over the course of this World Cup competition.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Five Outrageous Burgers From Chef Fred Smith


My first 10/10 burger on the blog, and still one that sends shivers down my spine when I think about it. When Fred was in his role as head chef, The Admiral Codrington cheeseburger was an example of the best gourmet burger London had to offer.
Every element in the Admiral Codrington burger was designed and executed to ensure the perfect combination of toppings, beef and bread. A thin layer of tomato reduction applied to the underside of the bun added acidity and umami, the mild cheddar doesn't dominate the meat, but added a Monterey Jack-style creaminess. Underneath the patty, thinly sliced pickles on a single slice of beef tomato, and mustard-mayonnaise chopped iceberg 'slaw, again adding that acidity and ensuring the juices freely flowing from the patty don't destroy the bun. Add a spoonful of the burger patty juices to the inside of the bun lid and the whole package was steeped in flavour.

The meat was house-minced, 8oz patties, with a combination of 50% chuck/50% rib cap from butcher Jack O'Shea. The beef was 28-day aged from grass-fed beef (for 200-250 days, and finished on grain) from the West coast of Ireland.

What a phenomenal piece of London burger history.


As part of a series of burger 'swarms', again at the Admiral Codrington, Fred designed a hearty menu featuring a central burger (or six).
And so was created the aptly-named 333 Chilli Burger. An ancho chilli-braised short rib patty ridden by a chipotle and jalapeño topping, resting on a bed of medium-heat, green chilli 'slaw, and sandwiched in a smaller version of the Miller demi-brioche bun.

This burger had bite, but the heat wasn't overpowering, more lingering than a burning inferno. It combined chipotle with its dry heat, and the green chillies with their juicy, spicy heat  and both worked in an almost perfect harmony with the smooth, creaminess of the short rib burger patty.

Hot stuff from Fred!


The Chuck Wagon is a burger that had the masses talking – a real artery clogger. At its base is a Juicy Lucy, an American cheese stuffed patty, but as this is Fred Smith, you know he has something else up his sleeve. And he did. The cheese was in fact bacon infused, formulated to melt at a low temperature so the burger can still be served pink. The beef was then coated in bread crumbs, coated again in panko bread crumbs and then fried, like chicken.
This is the result – a frankly mind-blowing combination of junk food flavours with the provenance and heritage that Fred brings.


The Admiral's Big Boy was a once in a lifetime interpretation of the McDonald's Big Mac. Encased in a Miller's sesame-seeded bun, cut with precision into three segments, Fred's take on this classic incorporated two slices of American cheese (these situated on top of the beef patties, rather than the traditional single slice below), his own special dressing that took so long to perfect he actually forgot what went into it (I tried to reverse engineer some out of my shirt, where it happily splattered), and patties were O'Shea's beef and slightly weightier than the similarly-named original, yet they were still cooked pink - a feat Fred was rightly proud of.
Like a full-bodied photoshoot of prime McDonald's Big Macs, the Admiral's Big Boy delivers all the joy of McDonalds best selling premium sandwich, without resorting to the sad, soggy looking burgers that actually turn up in your cardboard wrapper.


Following his stint at the Admiral Codrington, Fred took a series of freelance and consultancy roles, helping other places make awesome burgers, and one of these included deep frying a burger patty in beef dripping at FlatIron...

Arriving with a waft of deep-fried chip shop aroma, this is where the likeness to cheap fast food ends, the aged beef-fed beef patty is deep fried in beef dripping which allows it to forms the most amazing caramelised crust, whilst retaining a juicy, pink interior. The texture of the beef is melt-in-the-mouth, and it's topped with a béarnaise sauce, with it's buttery soft flavour, which works its way deep into crevices of the fried patty.

Mmm, deep fried beef.


So there we have it, five of my favourite outrageous burgers from chef Fred Smith - if you want to learn how to make burgers like a pro, check out my short videos of him creating his Ad Cod Cheeseburger:

Why not share your Fred Smith favourites too?

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Meat & Shake, Burgers in Tooting

Situated just 300m from Tooting Bec tube station, and directly opposite the most enormous Spice Village I’ve ever seen, is the somewhat incongruous Meat & Shake – the wooden sign, the exposed brickwork, the naked-yet-caged filament lights are in stark contrast to the pop-up stalls and multi-coloured neon of Upper Tooting Road.
 The restaurant has been open since September 2013, however they recently got in touch to ask me to come and try out their menu. They've been on the list for a while, but as it meant travelling down to Tooting, I hadn't found the time to go. Well now I have, and here are my thoughts on the burgers.

Friday 6 June 2014

Waitrose Footbal Party Burger – Greece: The Deconstructed Moussaka Burger

Waitrose asked me to pull together a burger recipe to represent Greece for their football party Home Inspirations page. So I've created the deconstructed Moussaka burger for your chowing pleasure.
This recipe will feed 4 – 8 people, depending on how hungry you are!

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