The term ‘pub food’, or ‘pub grub’, immediately conjures up images of burgers, fries and fish and chips, as well as the accompanying jugs of beer or caskets of brewed ale, the latter of which plays the more important role of satisfying the booze-craving pub customers. Indeed, serving up large portions of intoxicating alcohol was the key concern of good old English pubs; gastronomy has never played a key role in such drinking establishments until the late 20th century. Pub food was hence commonly viewed in a negative light – as junk or cold food, crudely prepared to serve guests who are gastronomically least appreciating.
On the other hand, pub food need not be all tasteless and uninteresting. Burgers, for one, are commonly served and consumed in many different eating places today, not just in pubs and fast food eateries, but also in high-end Michelin restaurants. The appeal of burgers lies in its rusticity, both in terms of appearance and taste. In fact, because it is such a simple dish to make, it is hence not easy to make a burger that stands out from the rest. My burger recipe here is therefore a simple one that uses special homemade patties and deliciously caramelised onions.
- Butter: 1 tbsp
- White onion: 3 large, halved and then sliced thinly
- Sugar: 1 1/2 tbsp
- Balsamic vinegar: 3 tbsp
- Burger buns: 4 whole buns, halved and grilled 5 min
- Lettuce: 4 leaves, washed
- Tomatoes: 2, washed and sliced
- Frikadellen (pork patties): 4, following the Frikadellen recipe
- Cheddar cheese: 4 slices
- Tomato sauce (optional): 4 tbsp
- Heat butter in wok. Add onions and fry for 5 min.
- Add sugar and vinegar. Continue frying onions on low heat for 30 min till soft, caramelised and a bit charred. Set aside.
- Assemble the burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, patties, cheese slices, onions & tomato sauce.
- Once the burgers are assembled, grill them for another 2 min in the oven (separating top of the bun from the rest) to melt the cheese just before serving.
- Onions themselves have a high sugar content. You could therefore choose to reduce the amount of sugar and fry the onions for a longer time on low heat for an equally delicious caramelised effect.
- Spread some pesto sauce onto the burger buns before grilling them to enhance the flavour and aroma of the burgers.