I was kindly asked to contribute a post for the delightful Grill & Barrel, and obviously agreed. I think the more exposure to local food and restaurant outlets in our wonderful city can definitely only be a good thing with more and more great places springing up from nowhere.
At Urban Tap House, we strive to serve some of the best burgers in the city (that’s not to say there isn’t very healthy competition – The Grazing Shed, for example is excellent). Clearly, burgers are not a complex form of dining to create. For me, what stands out is when people have obviously put time and thought in to every part of the meal, which I believe we do.
I could sit here and ramble recipes to you good folk, but don’t worry, I’m not here to bore you with details. This is the beauty of cooking. Recipes on the whole don’t really matter. People become lost behind pages in books, well groomed Italians on daytime television and Google. What happened to people just, well, taking a load of stuff they like, and experimenting?
This is exactly the ethic I have adopted for almost my entire cooking career. I can honestly say that the large majority of good food shouldn’t need to follow rules and guidelines.
Ok, I can feel you slowly slipping away. I will step up a gear.
It would be foolish of me to give you the full recipes for some of my stuff, so instead, I will offer you some handy tips that apply to all of my menu;
- ALWAYS blend the onions and garlic you mix into your patties, until it is like a paste. Chunks of raw ingredients roughly chopped into your burger are not cool.
- Texture, is JUST as important as taste.
- Season EVERYTHING you make. Remember, it doesn’t necessarily have to be salt and pepper…
- Cooking is a dehydrating process. ALWAYS bear this in mind when cooking meat.
- Less IS NOT more. People need feeding man. Not one sole sane person who walks into a pub is impressed with pretentious minimalist presentation, and never will be. Get over it.
I could go on, but I reckon that’ll do.
People, it is so important that you experiment with ingredients, and not be disappointed with the outcome. I’m sure Alexander Fleming produced some pretty radioactive bullshit before he stumbled across Penicillin.
If, however, you cannot be persuaded to think outside the cookbook, I would suggest coming to see me for a burger. Just saying.
Paul, Chef @urbantaphouse