Today is National Burger Day and more than 500 outlets across Ireland, from takeaways to gourmet burger restaurants, are offering two for the price of one.
In Kilkenny city, Chris Telford and Andy Brown of The Hungry Moose, winner of Best Burger in Ireland, are celebrating by extending the offer across their entire menu of 12 burgers.
Their signature burger is a chuck, brisket and short rib beef patty, with smoked bacon, dill pickle, an onion ring, Moose cheese (actually aged Cheddar), and organic maple barbecue sauce made in-house by head chef Emma O’Riain.
The Moose also serves up chicken, fish, vegetarian and vegan burgers and they all sell for €14.95, including a choice of triple cooked, sweet potato or skinny fries. The restaurant, at 60 Upper John Street, is open today from noon to 9.30pm.
Rory McCormack and Cathal O’Connor’s Handsome Burger in Galway was runner-up in the all-Ireland burger ratings, as well as winning best gourmet burger in Connaught. As well as beef and chicken burgers, the selection here includes an unusual spinach and chickpea bhaji burger with tandoori onions and feta cheese.
Handsome Burger at Caribou craft beer pub is open noon to 9pm today and the buy one get one free offer will apply to different burgers at different times. From noon to 3pm it’s the Handsome Burger with cheese (Brady’s beef, sticky onions and pickled cucumber); 3- 6pm the Petey Pablo (beef and Sheridan’s chorizo), and 6-9pm it’s the B.O.B (beef, tobacco onions, Herterich bacon and double Cheddar).
A luxurious burger made in-house with sirloin beef, served on a brioche bun with Cheddar cheese, gherkin and caramelised red onion, earned The Woodenbridge Hotel in Arklow, Co Wicklow the accolade of best burger served in a hotel.
Gerard O’Brien, general manager, says the Irish sirloin steak comes from within an hour of the hotel, is minced on site and the burgers are made daily, and never frozen. This luxurious treat (€15.95) is served in the hotel’s Goldmines bar and it is included in the offer.
In Bray, Co Wicklow, the ever-popular Box Burger suggests that customers ‘buy one, treat your mate for free’, with their most popular burger, a bacon and cheese beef patty (€10, and you can swap out the bun for salad, if that’s your thing). Box Burger were winners of Best Gourmet Burger in Leinster in the Kepak-sponsored Ireland’s Best Burger rankings.
Another award winner, Matt Crossan of Matt's Takeaway and Matt's Diner in three Donegal locations – Killea, Saint Johnston and Raphoe – is also extending the two-for-one offer across all six burgers on his menu and the outlets are open from 4-11pm today.
In Dublin, you can choose from four burgers in the buy one get one free offer at The Morrison Grill in the Morrison hotel on Lower Ormond Quay. These include one made with Wagyu beef from James Whelan Butchers (€23), and a chicken peri-peri burger (€16) with guacamole and pico de gallo, both served with shoestring fries.
At Gourmet Burger Kitchen's six Dublin branches, for every burger you buy, you will receive any classic burger free.
The entire list of participating outlets can be seen here, so you can check if the two-for-one offer is available at your favourite burger joint. Further information on the deals around the country can be found by searching social media with the hashtag #NationalBurgerDay.
Or maybe you are planning on firing up the barbecue and having a go at making Ireland's best burger on your home turf. If you need some recipe inspiration, the Irish Times recipe archive yields up eight very different burger recipes, using everything from chickpeas to chorizo.
Donal Skehan’s chorizo chicken burgers can also be made with turkey or pork, making it a very versatile option – and chorizo makes most things destined for the grill taste better.
Chorizo chicken burgers with quick pickled onion and red cabbage slaw
- 250g chorizo sausage, roughly chopped
- 500g chicken mince
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
- 250g halloumi, cut in thick slices (or any cheese you like)
- 1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the quick onion pickle
- 1 red onion, very thinly sliced
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp sea salt
For the speedy red cabbage slaw
- 1/2 a head red cabbage, sliced on a mandolin
- 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Avocado in slices
- Baby Gem lettuce leaves
- 4 wholewheat buns or pitta bread, split and toasted
This recipe works wonderfully with minced chicken, turkey or pork, but it’s the addition of roaring red, paprika-rich chorizo sausage that makes all the difference.
In terms of spicing the meat mixture, you are welcome to go to town, but as the flavour from the chorizo can be quite demanding I have left it simple, with a subtle aniseed bite from toasted fennel seeds.
I’m not sure I can fully getting away with calling these pickled onions, but the quick salting of thinly sliced onions along with the acidity of lemon juice certainly removes the raw onion bite and rather satisfyingly transforms them to a glorious pink.
- Place the onion in a bowl, add the lemon juice and salt and massage gently until slightly tender. Set aside.
- Combine all the ingredients for the red cabbage slaw and season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, blitz the chorizo until smooth. Transfer it to a mixing bowl and combine with the chicken mince and fennel seeds. Form into burger patties roughly 8cm in diameter.
- Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add a little oil. Fry the burgers for 3-4 minutes either side, until cooked all the way through. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and keep them warm.
- Using the oil left in the pan, fry the halloumi slices until golden on each side. Remove them from the pan and serve with the burgers in a toasted bun with pickled red onion, avocado slices and lettuce leaves.
An enduring favourite is this pork and halloumi burger recipe from barbecue specialists Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn, who run the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen restaurant in Barry, just outside Cardiff, as well as having a mobile unit until that tours UK festivals. In April their first TV show, Sam and Shauna's Big Cook-Out, aired on BBC Wales.
Pork and haloumi burger
- 3 banana shallots, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp groundnut oil, plus extra for frying and brushing
- 2 tbsp Creole seasoning rub (see below)
- One and a half tsp ground cumin
- One and a half tsp ground coriander
- 1kg minced pork shoulder
- 3 rashers cooked bacon or any good streaky bacon, finely chopped
- Small handful fresh thyme leaves
- Small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Half a tsp chilli powder
For the burger
- 6 Kaiser Rolls, or good brioche or burger buns, halved
- 6 tbsp bacon jam (or any relish)
- 6 tbsp chilli jam (or relish)
- 6 slices halloumi (about 250g packet)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- Little Gem lettuce or fresh rocket
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Creole seasoning rub
- 5 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- To make the Creole rub: In a bowl, mix all the ingredients well. Optionally, put through a blender for an extra fine powder. Transfer the rub to a jar, or a shaker if using immediately. This makes a lot, so you can reuse it.
- Gently fry the shallots and garlic in the oil for 5-7 minutes over medium heat, until softened. Turn the heat to low and stir through the Creole seasoning, cumin and coriander for 1-2 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, using wet hands, combine the minced pork, bacon, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, chilli powder, and the cooled shallot mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan and add a small piece of burger mix. Fry over medium heat for a few minutes, until cooked, then taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
- Form the meat mixture into six even-sized patties and press your thumb into the middle of each one to create a dimple. Place the patties on a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavours to mature.
- Set your grill up for direct heat but leave a 'cool zone' i.e. an area without coals. Toast the cut sides of the rolls so they are golden, around 15 seconds. Spread a tablespoon of bacon jam (or relish) on one half, and a tablespoon of chilli jam (or relish), on the other, and top with a handful of rocket or chopped lettuce.
- Season both sides of the patties and cook for 3-5 minutes on the grates over the direct heat, then flip. Make sure you get a good Mailliard reaction (chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars that gives a beautiful, chargrilled colour and flavour) before turning. They will take around 8-10 minutes to cook, but use your instant-read thermometer to ensure the middles reach 74°C/165°F.
- As you flip your burgers, start grilling the halloumi. Brush each slice with a little oil and sprinkle on the smoked paprika. Grill for 1-2 minutes, until they have a golden, slightly charred texture. Rest the cooked burgers on the indirect side of your grill for about five minutes. Place each patty on top of the rocket, followed by grilled halloumi.