Other burgers

Other burgers

By
Daniel Wilson
Contains
18 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742709352
Photographer
Chris Middleton

The ‘which beer?’ project

• The carbonation in beer is great for cutting through the fat in a burger.

• Smoky, malty dark beers are the perfect pairing for anything with barbecue sauce.

• Try a saison to complement the earthy notes in cheese, mustard and onions.

• Remember, there’s nothing wrong with going for your old favourites.

The ‘which beer?’ project

Which beer is best suited to burgers?

Burgers can become complicated, often crowded by condiments, herbs, various cheeses, and often a chilli kick. This offers up myriad beer-pairing possibilities – as well as a few obstacles to navigate.

We could all find ways to pair our everyday ‘go to’ beer to any burger, but with craft beers on the rise and enthusiasts looking for a deeper relationship between the two, let’s have some fun with it.

Beer has indicative traits that make it the perfect accompaniment for a juicy burger; the rest comes down to personal taste.

Here are some gentle suggestions from the good Doctor Huxtaburger.

Cutting through the fat: A beer’s best attributes when cutting through fat are its carbonation and bitterness. Steer away from low-fizz styles and beers that are too sweet.

Carbonation does vary within generic styles, but personally, I’d be blowing the froth off German pilsners, golden ales, pales and IPAs (India pale ales).

Pairing with caramelisation and barbecue sauce: ‘Welcome to the dark side.’ Caramelisation is the result of perfectly grilling or roasting meat. It tastes awesome and makes people happy.

Barbecue sauce can range between sweet fructose styles to seriously smoky, hot and delicious styles.

When pairing with these, I would go for light-bodied, roasty dark beers – something that leans towards smoky notes and has hints of molasses, while maintaining assertive malt characters.

Brown ales and porters will sit comfortably in this pocket. Yum.

Pairing with earthy notes: Earthy notes will come from cheese, mustard, onions… and for you umami heads out there, mushrooms!

These characters play into styles using English malts, brown ales and even saisons. The IPAs also tick the boxes with their broad mid-range flavour profiles.

Be your own boss: Do you want to experiment with something new? Or do you want what you know you’re going to love?

Sometimes, just drinking beer you like is the right beer for you – no shame in that.

If you’re a lager drinker and you did have an inclination to drift to new flavour territory, I might suggest moving onto German kölsch, American pales, English pales or IPAs.

These will bring some more pronounced hoppy notes and bitterness to your flavour arsenal, as well as exploring some fantastic aromatics and malty good-times.

When you find a style you love, explore expressions within that style. You’ll be surprised just how spoilt for choice we are these days.

My top pick: IPA – I think I love you! A burger has a lot going on, and so does an IPA. It has the hoppy grunt to stand up to the meat patty, and enough bitterness and carbonation to get your mouth ready for another bite.

To conclude: Eat more burgers and drink more beer.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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