Iqbal Wahhab, our illustrious founder, is quite the connoisseur when it comes to burgers. We spent months eating at different places around London to see what take other chefs had on the humble burger, until finally he introduced me to my now good friend, Wyatt Shevloff. Wyatt was to be the head chef at one of Iqbal’s new ventures and has a vast knowledge of Southern soul food and American barbecue. Who better to help me out in our quest to come up with our mighty Borough Burger?
In my opinion a burger is predominantly about the quality of the meat. After trial and error, playing around with fat percentages and even having a go at mixing raw bone marrow with the beef, the best result was a burger of minced rib trim with a fat content of 30 per cent. Wyatt came up with a fantastic spice mix to season the burger, which enhanced the smoky barbecue flavour from the grill. He also had a recipe for the mayonnaise-based burger sauce using the spice mix as a seasoning in the sauce itself. We also trialled a few different buns. I initially wanted a classic sesame seed bun but we ended up going with a half brioche style, which incorporates a little sugar and butter into the dough resulting in a slight but not overpowering sweetness, and a superb soft texture. It was well worth all the experimentation. We now have a very well executed classic that flies out the door on a busy market Saturday.
The seasoning is not only great for burgers. If you make up a batch and store it in a sealed jar in a cool dark cupboard it will keep for a year. You can pull it out when you’re having a barbecue and use it for dusting chicken wings or seasoning steaks. The burger sauce can be kept in the fridge, covered, for 1 week.