With National Burger Day fast approaching, award-winning beer expert and writer Melissa Cole has created four special burger recipes and beer pairings for a takeaway twist to the National Burger Day bonanza.
Taking place on the 25th August in 2022 (the last Thursday before the August bank holiday each year), National Burger Day is a UK-wide celebration with pubs, restaurants, cafes and street food vendors promoting all manner of special creations on the day to really push the burger boat out.
While immensely popular worldwide, the boisterous burger does not get anywhere close to top of the UK charts for favourite takeaway meals with Chinese, Indian, Pizza, Fish ‘n Chips and Thai reigning supreme. *
This year, Melissa is hoping to help change this status quo by flipping the country’s top five takeaways into four takeaway fusion burgers, which can be perfectly paired with the nation’s favourite drink – beer.
Melissa’s recipes and pairings for the big day are as follows:
National Burger Day: Thai Fish & Chip Burger paired with a Stiegl Goldbräu
Ok, I know I’m taking a lot of liberties with both the words burger and chips here but I adore Thai shrimp crackers, they have tonnes of black pepper in them, making them more interesting than the more common sort and who doesn’t love the flavours of a Thai fish cake? Pairing this with a nice cold Stiegl Goldbrau, with its bright effervescence and clean herbal flavours, helps cleanse the palate for each bite.
National Burger Day: Chinese Curry Chicken Burger paired with a Brooklyn Stonewall IPA
A lot of us who grew up in small villages will remember, with great fondness, the local Chinese takeaway that also doubled up as the fish & chip shop and this is my nod to that: the rustling bags of fried battered chicken balls waiting to be adorned with sweet and sour and the mild curry sauce served with the chips, all of it with an air of fruitiness, which here is amplified by the Stonewall IPA, makes for a tremendous nostalgia trip.
Indian-style lamb burger paired with a London Beer Co. Beer Street
A traditional British bitter, like London Brewing Co. Beer Street, is a good balance to the spicy and sweet flavours in this dish, and really draws out the meat flavour beautifully when you use a little splash of it in the burger itself.
National Burger Day: Mushroom Pizza Burger paired with a Bohemia Regent Petr Voka Amber Lager
Taking the old standby of stuffed mushrooms to the next level, and a little indulgence in the idea of truffled or hot honey parmesan fries, makes this a fun and luxurious treat where you won’t miss the meat. This will go beautifully with a deeper flavoured, slightly darker lager like Bohemia Regent.
Melissa’s tips for cooking the best burger and pairing it with beer are:
- The huge array of flavours in beer make it the perfect partner to a burger, from bright refreshing golden lagers, to British bitters and pale ales, right the way through to US-style pale ales and beyond, these suggestions are a great starting point to finding your favourite
- Look for something that will cut through the richness of a burger, my personal favourite with a classic beef burger is an American-style red ale
- Buy a temperature probe – this will not only ensure your burger is done, it will make sure it’s not overdone and too tough
- With everything but the mushroom burger, make sure you fry off a small amount of the mix to check the seasoning/flavour intensity is to your liking
- Rest both your patties for a few minutes before constructing your burger – you will taste the benefit
- If you’re cooking the lamb burger on a BBQ, keep a spray bottle to hand to tamp down any flare ups
- Don’t put too much sauce on things – no point in putting all the work into your patty, only to drown it in sauces, pop a little pot on the side if you think you might want more
- Bite-size is best for burgers IMO, they are a convenience food, and whilst a little mess is ok, no one wants to end up wearing their dinner!