(*by “we” we are obviously referring to Pip and Mr Pip, as D is a hardcore vegan.)
Beer candied bacon. Beer fried onions. Beer BBQ sauce. Even a bottle of beer specially brewed to pair with this magnificent meaty leviathan. This was just beer and burger food porn heaven. It became Mr Pip’s life goal to get one of these burgers, and insert it into his face by ANY MEANS POSSIBLE.
Sadly, we were not the only people excited about the #BrewBurger. Honest Burgers already have a reputation for churning out some pretty awesome food, and it’s not at all unusual to see people queuing out the door at their restaurants at the best of times. With the added draw of this special addition to the menu – getting publicity due to requiring ID just to order it – we didn’t fancy our chances of getting hold of one.
After several days of putting up with a husband with a face like a kicked, burger-starved puppy, Pip came up with one of her notoriously bright ideas – “why don’t we try to make our own?”
…oh yes, reader. We went there.
Step one: brioche bun.
This was to be one special burger. Special burgers do not come in those sad, flat little baps from Sainsburys. Oh no.
Rising questionably early on a Sunday morning, we rustled up some delicious buns to contain the awesomeness of our burger.
The #BrewBurger boasts a special BBQ reduction made with Brewdog’s Paradox, an imperial stout aged in whisky casks and ranging from 10-15% ABV. Sadly, we weren’t able to get hold of any Paradox, with Brewdog informing us that they had sent every last bottle they had out to Honest Burgers. Short of breaking into a restaurant to steal a bottle, we would need a plan B.
So, basically… we cheated. We needed a Paradox substitute, and the closest thing we could find was their delicious Tokyo*. This is an oak-aged imperial stout at a face-melting 18.2% ABV, and hopefully sharing some of the delicious characteristics of Paradox.
We made a punchy BBQ sauce with a dizzying array of ingredients, the Tokyo* adding some real richness and depth to the flavour.
Step four: Punk IPA fried onions
Honest Burgers thought they had us here. “Our onions are fried in Punk IPA and beef dripping”, they boasted. Yeah, well we had some beef dripping in the fridge from a roast. So there.
Honest Burgers get their 35-day aged beef from The Ginger Pig. While we couldn’t quite scale such heights of meaty prestige, we did go to our local butchers to get something a bit special.
Time to bring it all together… Brioche. Gherkins. Burger. 5am Saint bacon. Comté cheese. Punk IPA and beef dripping onions.
Paradox Tokyo* BBQ sauce. LID.
Our taste-tester, Mr Pip, had this to say:
“It was delicious… the onions were the highlight, for me. You got the most beer out of the onions. The bacon tasted great but you didn’t necessarily taste the beer coming through. The Bourbon Baby was wonderful and complimented the burger well. Our BBQ sauce obviously wasn’t the same recipe as Honest Burgers’, and we were using a different beer, but I think having the Tokyo* in it added a depth and smokiness. I wasn’t getting alcoholic vibes from it, as it was cooked down for a while but it really brought the other elements together.”
While his hunger for burgers has been temporarily sated, Mr Pip is still keen to try and get hold of the real thing, if only to see how close we came to recreating it.
With the #BrewBurger currently being advertised as a limited edition, only being available until 2nd April, it’s encouraging to know we may be able to recreate a little of the magic once it disappears from Honest Burgers’ menus… but there’s still a little time left to join the queues.
Brewdog have been selling Bourbon Baby in their online shop, but at the time of writing they had none in stock. You might get lucky if you keep checking.