As the mercury keeps rising we thought we’d take a moment in the shade to remind you of our extensive array of tasty toppings and scrumptious sides, all guaranteed to ensure burger success on the barbecue this summer.
The first decent English summer in years seems set for weeks to come, and if the St George’s Cross colour schemes of scorched flesh and strap-marks aren’t providing sufficient confirmation of the unprecedented warmth, there’s also a definite scent of wood-smoke in the air, as a host of pubs and restaurants take service al-fresco by firing up the barbecue.
There’s no doubt barbecue culture has undergone a transformation in recent years, largely thanks to the ‘dude food’ trend and burgeoning popularity of establishments such as Pitt Cue and Jamie Oliver’s latest venture Barbecoa, yet behind the new slow-cook culture of complex dry rubs, jerk goat and watermelon and prawn skewers, there’s one barbecue staple we continue to embrace regardless of age, nationality or gender; a really great burger.
What constitutes that really great burger, however, is where the differences start to re-emerge…
Everybody say cheese!
Only the lactose intolerant would argue that a plain burger is better than a cheeseburger, and at Maws our cheese range includes some of the very best slices for pimping your meat patty.
For traditionalist who want stars-and-stripes branded on their burger then there’s no better topping than the U.S.A’s original cheese, Monterey Jack (first made by Mexican monks settling California in the 18thC). Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese aged for only a month, giving it the sweet, mild taste and perfect meltability that’s helped earn its place on top of burgers from the classic American chains for decades.
For those seeking greater depth of flavour, Emmenthal is the definitive Swiss cheese that melts on a patty just as well as Monterey Jack but offers those extra nutty notes in the flavour stakes.
Meanwhile for the significant contingent who believe that if you’re going to put cheese on your burger it had better be blue, we recommend Blue d’Auvergne. This classic French cow’s milk cheese with a moist, melting quality, is one you’ll find atop the burgers in such essentially French destinations as Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel.
Finally for those who prefer lamb mince to beef in their burgers, nothing offsets that particular meat’s rich fattiness better than the tart and salty tones of Greek feta. Feta makes the ideal companion to a juicy lamb burger, but blitz it in a food processor with cream cheese, lemon juice and a slug of olive oil to make whipped feta, and you’ve just turned ideal into a truly great deal.
Emmenthal slices and Montarey Jack slices (1kg pack), Blue D’Auvergne per 1.4kg and Feta per 900g block
It’s easy to bicker over cheese choices but in terms of divisiveness, gherkins are the burger’s real ‘marmite’ ingredient. Some prefer small vinegary cornichons below their bun, others insist on the larger and mellower dill pickle – many more would throw either into the nearest waste bin. However, those who love a gherkin really love a gherkin, and in a civilised, tolerant society they should always be offered the option!
When it comes to sauce we’re also pleased to offer a great range of the favourites, with classic Ketchup from Hienz and a rival favourite by Tiptree, a pulpier tomato sauce with floral notes and a tang of cloves. Mustards come as they should, English with bite, from Coleman’s, or smooth vinegary Dijon from traditional French brands such as Maille and Covinor. Meanwhile our mayonnaise, made by Alison’s Kitchen, uses only free-range eggs.
Large Gherkins/Dill Pickles and (1.48kg jar) Brover cornichons (425ml jar), Hienz Tomato Ketchup (glass and squeezy bottles), IND Tiptree Tomato Ketchup, Coleman’s English Mustard, Wholegrain Covinor Mustard, Maille Dijon Mustard, Alison’s Kitchen Freerange Mayonaisse
For too long the burger bun has been dismissed as the mere delivery system for charbroiled meat, salad and sauce, and consequently those soft, floury baps that gradually turn to little more than a coating of grease absorbing pap have been the undoing of many a potentially fine burger.
If flavour and durability are the yardsticks to defining the perfect burger bun, then we’re proud to supply two of the very best suggestions.
Firstly there the ciabatta roll, which as a bun is definitely the result of the craft burger craze but nevertheless is perfectly suited to withstand the onslaught of juices and condiments contained within. Inside the bread is deliciously soft and absorbant yet thanks to the robust stone-baked crust you can rest assured will keep your burger intact no matter how stacked.
Then of course there’s the brioche bun, quite literally the gourmet choice as brioche (of course) hails from French origin, where they know a thing or two about bread. Brioche is essentially a sweet yeast bread enriched with additional eggs and butter, which gives is a velvety texture and tender crumb, plus that subtle sweetness provides the perfect contrast to all the savoury goodness you’ll packed into your ham, cheese or veggie burger.
100g round ciabatta rolls per pack of 40, 90g glazed brioche buns per pack of 55
Step to the sides
Ever since a recipe for them magically appeared in an advert in The New York Times back in 1933, fried onion rings have held their rightful place as side-dish royalty. Not only ever ready to challenge the ubiquitous French fries for supremacy, the fried onion ring has the distinct advantage of always being a possible inclusion in the burger itself, and our beer-battered onions rings are some of the best.
Another recent trend we’re happy to get behind is the ascendance of the sweet potatoes fry. Not only does their natural sweetness sing against a sprinkling of salt, but as a non-starchy carbohydrate they also count as one of your five a day – and who doesn’t want to feel righteous and eat chips at the same time?
Beer battered onion rings 1kg (sold frozen), sweet potato fries 2.5kg (sold frozen)