The Big Mike (An Attempt to Cure the Winter Blues)

Burger A

I have a confession to make. At one time I worked for a large fast food hamburger chain. It was a matter of necessity rather than choice. It lasted about six months. For myself, I generally found the patties bland and rubbery. I found the sauces sickly and uninspiring. As for the restaurant decor, which looks designed for hose down, I find it, well, pointless of not insulting. For many, many years I couldn’t face a hamburger. Then I watched Hugh make a burger in one of his River Cottage programmes. My recollection is that his point was that there is nothing wrong with the hamburger so long as it is properly made. It’s true. Just because a food has been horribly abused that doesn’t make it bad. So if a respectable restaurant should choose to rescue such a dish with a high brow version then more strength to their elbow! This is something the world needs! Not only that, but something to praise, be thankful for and to encourage. For some of us the sheer volume of this kind of stuff hitting the scene at the same time could become boring and tedious. One persons boring and tedious is another’s fun and exciting. It’s a matter of personal choice. After all, there is more than one item on the menu and more than one eating establishment around. A restaurant has to pay its way. At the end of the day, the way I see it, is the thing that makes junk food junk is the ingredients and how it’s put together, not the dish itself.


What follows is all my own work. If it should just happen to look a bit similar to a fast food high street version it’s just coincidence.

I love making Big Mike’s but I haven’t made one for years. We all have our own version of the hamburger and this is mine.

First, make a patty using ground beef, onion, beaten egg and dusted with some flour. It does kind of look pink and slimy doesn’t it?


Next add a dollop of mustard to the bottom slice of a large bap. The surfaces of the bap are best carmalised. This helps stop the condiments and the juice from the patty making the whole thing a bit soggy.


Next a dollop of tomato ketchup.


The Pattie on top of that.


Some onion.


Some grated cheese.


Voila! Doesn’t that look good?


Next a pint of beer and sit down to eat whilst watching Magnum PI. This is how to cure winter blues!