Having gone through a sodden and damp start to the year, the recent glorious weather sort of caught everyone on the hop last week. Collective shrieks about shaving legs, sorting out toenails and and ironing string vests were de rigueur over at T&G HQ. But this is what comes of wearing layers and layers, for long periods of time. One glimpse of sunshine and the lads always get sent into a complete tizzy. As for Sophie. Well, she just rolled her eyes at all the commotion.
However, we were very much prepared for the onslaught of hungry meat-eaters, who walked through the door at EC1 and ordered online, with nothing but BBQ in their eyes. In fact, we had quite the bumper week. Galician steaks and pork loin ribs flew out. Bulkier cuts such as brisket and pork butt - classic choices for smoking, low and slow - were in huge demand. And our family friendly range of sausages and burgers must have been hitting the grills with great aplomb over the weekend. Marius, our sausage maker extraordinaire, could barely keep up.
The interesting thing though, is that a fair few customers still get a bit bamboozled by our range of burgers.
'What is the difference between that one, and that one?' - they'll often say, with pointy fingers. Followed by - 'Does it matter how coarse the mince is?' And - 'Why is that one called 'The Upminster'?'
Of course, we are always happy to answer questions of an inquisitive nature, but the main point is that there really isn't anything complicated about our burgers. Using a variety of cuts from the native-breeds that we sell, it's just a case of mixing and pressing by hand, with the right amount of fat for good measure and extra flavour. Nothing more, nothing less. Keep it simple and everything else will follow.
Call it confidence in the meat that we sell, if you will.
For the uninitiated though, what follows is an easy description of each of our burgers. With an additional tip or trick to make the most out of your bun.
Also, should you visit the shop, always keep an eye out, as we do occasionally run some 'special' mixes. There is some excellent Yorkshire Wagyu in right now and plans are afoot to make something with the trim.
And if it is a scorcher when you pop in, please do comment on John's legs. He puts a lot of time and effort in when the sun does finally come out. Using three Bics at time.
At the very least.
Choice cuts of native breed breed are ground together with bone marrow in our most popular burger. We use absolutely no seasoning, as we prefer to let the beef do the talking. This is a burger to be enjoyed unadulterated, or with some lettuce and tomato at a push. In between a brioche bun, of course.
These burgers are made using a single coarse grind, adding extra aged fat and forming each burger by hand. Not for the faint hearted, they're rich and deep in flavour and benefit from acidic pickles to help cut through. Or perhaps some kimchi even. We do some great stuff by Eaten Alive in the shop.
A fairly new addition to our burger range, the BSR is made from 50% boneless brisket and 50% boneless short rib. The result? A juicy, flavourful burger with a bite. Definitely a burger to get experimental with. For instance, this Hay-Smoked Braised Short Rib Cheeseburger by Kung Fu BBQ looks the absolute bomb.
Named in honour of the late great Meatopia founder, Josh Ozersky, these burgers are made from equal parts cap, hanger and chuck steak. Choose from coarse ground, or fine ground. Now, you can start stacking up the umami hit with this one. Slices of blue cheese wouldn't go amiss. Or some melted Tunworth - also available in the shop.
These burgers are made from a mix of steak trim and rib cap from our Galician and Basque loins. Coarse ground and hand pressed, they're rich in flavour and a fantastic way to try to Spanish beef. Perhaps another burger to be left alone. Although a cold glass of Spanish cider would be a perfect partner.
We make the Upminster from 90% dry-aged short rib and bone marrow. Whilst they used to be available in a coarse ground only option, we've added a fine ground option for those who prefer less bite. A very delicious and intense burger, that fits the bill with cheap processed cheese slices and American mustard. A bit dirty in other words.