Kristian and I are always on the hunt for amazing burgers. Whether that means sitting on the tube for an hour to get to the other side of London to sample a highly rated burger joint or spending several weekends ‘burger testing’ in Manchester, we are always on the look out for that perfect, juicy patty and brioche combination.
London delivered the goods on several occasions. I was actually really surprised at how much Londoners love a good hamburger. As a result, it is a burger lover’s paradise and there are several amazing burger joints scattered throughout the city.
‘Hache’ which translates as ‘minced’, is a French burger restaurant in Chelsea that always hits the spot. The Bavarian and Catalan burgers are always a winner, but even their basic Hache Cheeseburger is something special.
The number one spot in London, however, must be awarded to ‘Bleeker St Burger’. We first chowed down on these winning burgers at ‘Street Feast’, the most incredible Summer food market in Dalston Yard. Delicious and uncomplicated burgers. They have a food truck that travels around London throughout the year so you don’t need to wait for those amazing Summer markets to enjoy some Bleeker St goodness. My brother, Alex, who is quite the burger aficionado, spent three months travelling and eating burgers around Europe. Not only did this burger make his ‘Top 10’ (an incredibly difficult feat unto itself considering his cut throat ranking system) but it made it to his number two spot (very closely behind 'Dish' in Prague). If you knew my brother and his burgers, you’d be running to Bleeker St right now.
In all honesty, finding an amazing burger in Manchester is a little trickier than in London. We took a while to get there, but finally found SoLiTa. There are two restaurants, one in Didsbury Village and one in the Northern Quarter. They have a good selection of options. The ‘Big Manc’ is pretty impressive and puts that greasy, red headed clown to shame.
The following recipe is inspired by some of the best burgers ever and is quite possibly one of the best burgers ever. 100% minced chuck steak basted in mustard and served atop a gorgeous brioche bun. Combine that with Kristian’s ‘Special Sauce’, some red onion, pickles, cheddar and some crispy, streaky bacon. Truly one of the best burgers ever!
(A few of the) Best Burgers in London and Manchester:
331-329 Fulham Road, Chelsea, SW10 9QL
Bleeker St Burger
For a weekly schedule of where this perfect little pop up will be, go to their website.
School Lane, Didsbury, M20 6RD & Turner St, Northern Quarter M41 DW
The Best Burgers Ever
600g good quality minced chuck steak
1 red onion
Splash white wine vinegar
4 slices streaky bacon
4 teaspoons American mustard
4 brioche buns, toasted (follow this recipe for amazing brioche buns)
4 slices of cheddar cheese
Pickled gherkin, sliced
For Kristian’s Special Sauce:
½ a small iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
2 heaped tablespoons whole egg mayonsaise
1 ½ heaped tablespoons tomato ketchup
A splash of hot sauce (we used a Habanero sauce)
A sprinkle of chilli flakes
Divide the mince into four equal portions. Shape into patties and flatten slightly. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Very thinly slice the onion. Place into a small bowl with the vinegar and a sprinkling of salt. Mix lightly and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the special sauce and mix well. Season to taste.
Heat a frying pan. Add the bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the pan. In the same pan, heat a splash of olive oil and then add the four patties. Cook for one minute and then flip over and baste the cooked side of each burger with ½ teaspoon of the mustard. Cook for two minutes then flip over again and baste each patty with another ½ teaspoon of mustard. Cook for a further two minutes. Flip once again and place one slice of cheese on each burger. Add a splash of water then cover with a lid or heatproof bowl and allow the cheese to melt, about 30 seconds to one minute. Remove from the heat.
To make each burger, place ¼ of the special sauce on the base of each toasted bun then top with the cheesy burger patty followed by ¼ of the red onion and gherkin slices and finally the bacon. Drizzle with a little more ketchup, if desired. Finish with the bun top and then dig in and get your hands dirty!
Recipe adapted from jamieoliver.com