What better excuse to fire up the BBQ than National Burger Day? On 22 August, we’ll be celebrating the humble hamburger in all its delicious incarnations.
22 August 2019 is National Burger Day – like Christmas for those of us that love a juicy patty in a deliciously doughy bun. We love burgers in every form and we’ve had several clients ask us to incorporate them into our evening menu for their event. Whether you love a classic beef burger or have been seduced by one of the current trendy options (pulled pork burger anyone?), we’ve never seen anyone disappointed when a tray of burgers comes out!
Although burgers are associated with America – American chain McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers per second right around the clock! – the hamburger was actually first conceived in Hamburg, Germany. Back then, the hamburger was considered fine dining rather than fast food as they were made from the sought-after beef of Hamburg cows. They rose in popularity when German immigrants arrived on the east coast of America and created their own version of the homeland favourite. The hamburgers were often served from carts, and a bread bun was added to make them easier to eat on the move. Today, beef is definitely not the only filling you’d expect to find between the buns; we love chicken, pork, lamb, veggies, cheese…
What makes the perfect burger?
It’s difficult to say what makes the perfect burger. We’re going to divide some opinions here, and we’re fine with that. Make your burger however you like. But we’ve put our heads together and come up with some top tips for the perfect cheeseburger.
We’re using ground beef, and this is no place for the lean stuff. It’s the fat that imparts flavour and keeps your burger moist as it cooks. We’d suggest a minimum of 20% fat, rising to 40% for a truly unctuous patty. Your butcher should be able to point you in the direction of some coarsely ground beef mince that’ll do the job nicely, or you can mince your own to ensure that you get the texture just right. Great beef doesn’t need too much seasoning – just a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
When it comes to cheese, plasticky orange slices aren’t always what we fancy. Try a sliver of sharp vintage cheddar, nutty Red Leicester or some stringy Havarti for a change. For bolder flavours, any blue cheese works well and we love super spicy Mexicana. We like to add our cheese a few minutes before the burger finishes cooking, allowing it to melt a little before it comes away from the heat.
The bun should be fresh and gently toasted. Toasting your bun stops any juicy fillings from escaping. Brioche is really popular at the moment – the rich buttery flavour just adds to the indulgence – but a classic sesame seed topped bun is great too.
Seven fun facts for National Burger Day
- Burgers account for over 60 perfect of sandwiches sold worldwide.
- In 2012, Black Bear Casino Resort in Minnesota, U.S., set the world record for the biggest burger. The monstrous hamburger weighed in at 2,014 pounds and was 10 feet in diameter.
- During World War 2, American soldiers renamed their burgers as Liberty Sandwiches. They didn’t fancy their favourite foods having German names!
- Las Vegas restaurant Fleur de Lys created one of the world’s most expensive burgers for their menu. Named the FleurBurger5000, this lavish sandwich was crafted with black truffles, foie gras and Kobe beef. It was served with an eye-wateringly expensive bottle of wine on the side and could be yours for just $5,000.
- The first ever burger chain was White Castle, established in 1921 in Kansas, USA. They are still serving up their signature burgers, but they cost a bit more than a nickel (4p) now.
- The animal rights group PETA offered the officials of Hamburg, New York $15,000 to change their town’s name to Veggieburg. They didn’t take the deal.
- The Heart Attack Grill restaurant in Las Vegas serves up the Quadruple Bypass Burger, which is made of four half-pound beef patties, eight cheese slices, 20 rashers of bacon, 20 lard-baked onion slices, eight tomato slices, one tablespoon mayonnaise, two tablespoon ketchup, one tablespoon mustard and a bun. It holds the Guinness World Record of being the most calorific burger in the world at a whopping 9,982 calories.