How to Celebrate National Burger Day Like A Pro
Happy National Burger Day! August 27th is officially the day to celebrate juicy patties, gooey cheese, and fried onions, all sandwiched between crispy brioche buns. We’re living in a golden age of burgers, and Britain is swimming with gourmet burger joints all claiming to be the bees knees of the show-stopping meat patty circus.
But what exactly goes into a really great burger, you ask? Well, Laura from Full To The Brum is here to give an expert view on what to look for in a top-quality burger, and to tell us about how Birmingham is something of a Mecca for burger lovers right now.
I bloody love burgers. If it were up to me I’d have a whole week, or even a month to celebrate burgers, but as it is we’ll have to pack in our admiration of these little beauties into just one day. Still, that’s pretty fitting really, as despite their glory, burgers rarely hog the limelight entirely, and will happily share their stage with a side-kick.
But time to get down to business! And for me, a good burger is pretty simple; meat, bread and the simplest of toppings.
Get to know your patty!
If we’re talking a classic beefburger then the star of the show should undoubtedly be the meat.
Lots of places will blind you with fancy terms about their beef – some of them are right to do so and some really are a bit like asking your preference of cola. Chuck is the basic cut of beef for most burgers, but brisket and short-rib might feature too – just watch out, as more fancy cuts of meat will cost more!
Laura’s verdict: The thing to be wary about in burger patties is anything claiming to be lean; I’ve tended to find those burgers fairly disappointingly dry and crumbly, and in the words of one of Birmingham’s best loved burger purveyors, The Meatshack, I want some dripping, filthy goodness from my patty.
Keep your eyes on the buns!
It’s no good having a great patty if there’s nothing interesting to sandwich it between!
Brioche buns seem to be all the range at the moment, and if they’re good then the light, buttery bread can work wonders with the hot, juicy meat. But don’t be fooled, sometimes a simple bun can be pretty spot on – and then of course there’s the classic seeded bun too.
Laura’s verdict: The main component of the bread is that it provides some structural integrity to the whole affair, without being so tough you break teeth; toast the bun, but don’t cremate it, just warm it up.
Pro Birmingham tip: The Victoria pub in Birmingham city centre have been using seeded buns at some of their themed burger events and they work brilliantly.
Top-drawer toppings are a must
Toppings are a tricky topic for me.
I firmly believe all burgers need some sort of sauce to bring the whole thing together, whether it’s classic burger sauce, mayo or BBQ. And sure, lettuce and associated greenery always seems like a good choice for aesthetic reasons – particularly when there are pickles (mind you, if you don’t want yours, I’ll take them off your hands!)
But watch out, as loads of places have gone for a pile ‘em high approach to toppings which run the risk of the stars of the show – the meat and the bread – being overshadowed.
Laura’s verdict: I’m a fan of the classics, and a bacon cheeseburger can be pretty spot on, with Hamburgers by Anderson’s doing a cracking cheeseburger.
Pro Birmingham tip: If there’s one team I trust to make me a burger which can combine a cracking beef patty with toppings which will make your eyes water it’s the Original Patty Men.
The final word
Just like a cocktail, which always has at least three ingredients, a great burger cannot scrimp on the core trio of the patty, bun and toppings. But the true beauty of the burger is that – again just like a cocktail – you can always easily add more ingredients into the mix, switch up your base, or re-imagine the whole burger entirely.
If you’re sick of eating your way round all of the usual burger establishments however, and you fancy instead getting up close and personal with some truly great British burgers, then check out the final instalment of the Birmingham leg of the UK Burger Battle. The event takes place on Saturday 12th September from 5pm, and for the price of a ticket you’ll get two top-notch burgers from teams competing in the battle! Teams are announced nearer the date, but I’ve heard some strong rumours and I can assure you that they’re not to be missed…
Thanks Laura for sharing your burger expertise with us!
All image credits go to Full to the Brum.