I think about food a lot. If I’m not doing something that requires my full attention, then you can pretty much guarantee I’ll be formulating a recipe in my head or thinking about that Thai place I can’t wait to try.
This afternoon I was mostly thinking about burgers. I knew I had some really good butcher's mince in the fridge, some onions and a few of the other bits and pieces needed, but what about the all important toppings? I couldn’t decide.
The combination of my indecisiveness, Colette’s penchant for mini stuff, and spotting a perfect 9 pack of mixed mini bread buns in M&S sealed the deal. I wouldn’t decide, I’d make three different kinds.
The three flavours I decided on were: Fresh Coriander and Jalapeño salsa, Mango Chutney and Blue Cheese, and Classic Cheddar.
All the burgers had a bed of lettuce and just a smidge of mayo: The “Classic Cheddar” also had tomato, sliced red onion, ketchup and mustard.; the “Fresh Coriander and Jalapeño salsa” contained diced tomato, red onion, Jalapeño, garlic, fresh coriander, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar; the “Mango Chutney and Blue Cheese” was simply a generous slab of Stilton with a mango chutney coated top bun.
These three seemed like a good balance as you get one pretty classic burger, one spicy burger, and one rich and weird burger. Lovely stuff.
I wanted a big fruity IPA to go with these burgers. Something that was sweet and fruity enough to handle the mango chutney but also had some bitterness and depth to go with that charred meat - Plus blue cheese and American IPA’s is a match made in heaven - so Caldera IPA from Oregon was the ideal candidate.
It worked a treat. Particularly with the Blue Cheese and Mango Chutney which was far and away the best of the three. It’s just a perfect combination; salty, funky cheese and sweet, fruity chutney atop charred, well seasoned beef. It ticks all the boxes and with the Caldera was probably the best Beer and Food Match I’ve had all year.
Burger tips and other info:
- I used 700g of mince (mixed with 1 grated red onion, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 beaten egg and plenty of salt and pepper) to make 9 mini burgers. That works out at roughly ½ a pound of meat per person, split between three mini burgers. This amount is perfect for a good sized main meal when served with a big shared bowl of potato wedges.
- Mould your burgers into lime sized balls and then press your thumb into the centre and squash down. This creates a fat, red blood cell shaped burger. Place these onto an oiled plate and set in the fridge or freezer for at least 15 minutes before cooking. When the burger cooks the dint in the middle will expand creating a perfectly flat top. If you have them flat to begin with then you’ll end up with golf balls after cooking, it’s a neat trick that works a treat.
- I used butchers mince but fresh ground chuck steak with a bit of fat is even better. There’s loads of recipes online and I’m not pretending the burger recipe here is the best. This post is about the toppings, and the beer match.
- I cooked my burgers on a really hot griddle pan for 4 mins either side to medium well done.
- The Mango and Blue Cheese burger was partly inspired by this post from Andy at BeerReviews, and also the great rare beef, Stilton and onion Maramalde sandwich I ate recently in Pickles & Potters of Leeds.