Tonight’s repast has been fit for a king! We started with home-made burgers. I mixed 500g lean beef mince with some finely chopped oregano from the gardenand crushed black pepper, forming it into eight balls. Using one of our pastry cutters (78mm!) I pressed each ball into a circle of roughly even depth and then sandwiched them together in pairs with a small patty of salted goats butter between them (with the intention that it would melt and season the burger). I cooked them until browned on both sides, sprinkling with a little salt during the cooking, and then resting on a warmed plate in the top oven while frying off some sliced onion in the pan (which, with the addition of some water part way through the process, is a quick way of getting rich, brown onions).
Two completed burgers were served in a stack – half a bagel, shredded lettuce, burger, gherkin slices, mayonnaise and a second burger. Definitely not the healthiest of meals but good for a warm summer evening.
We then topped this off by sharing a bottle of Bad King John. This “English Black Ale”, by Oxfordshire brewery Ridgeway, is incredibly dark (although glowing ruby red when held up to the sun) and tastes as if it has had charcoal steeped in it. Don’t let me put you off though – although it is unusual kind of bitterness, it worked perfectly with burgers (perhaps compensating for the lack of a BBQ in the equation) and I would definitely purchase it again, if if the 6% ABV payload means that sharing is probably the most sensible option for consuming it.