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Burger Britannia

Three years in Cambridge, England can do a lot for a young lady. It can help you finally get that ring on your finger from your PhD-earning boyfriend. It can unearth a new career as an underpaid sous-chef when only months before you still were utilizing that neuroscience degree your parents paid for with stars in their eyes. It can start changing your speech as you replace “rubbish” for “garbage” and “bollocks” for “damn”. And it can eighty-six your use of "fanny-pack" altogether. But most importantly, it will make you fall in love with British food in all of its eccentric glory. Even now, as I pursue a classic French culinary degree in New York City, I have an ever-present craving for marmite on toast, toad in the hole and Welsh rarebit. And so, may I humbly present to you, the Burger Britannia – a perfect amalgamation of all things Brit and my homage to the country that gave me a new husband, a new career and a soft spot for bangers and mash.


Boozy Caramelized Leeks
3 pounds leeks
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup Sutter Home Moscato
1 tablespoon honey
12 slices smoked back bacon (“Canadian Bacon”)
1/2 pound Cumberland sausage
1 1/4 pounds ground chuck steak
1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin steak
1/4 cup any strong British ale
1 teaspoon finely minced rosemary
1 tablespoon Marmite
4 teaspoons kosher salt
Oil for the grill
1 cup crumbled aged stilton
The rest of the kit…
6 Seeded Baps (translated to American = Poppy Seed rolls)
6 teaspoons English Mustard
½ pound Rocket (spicy arugula), washed and dried


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the caramelized leeks, slice leeks whites into small strips and set aside. Discard dark green tops. In a 8” fire-proof skillet, melt the butter and sauté leek whites until they become translucent. Add Moscato and cook several minutes until alcohol evaporates. Add the honey and cook the leek mixture for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to brown and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the pan from the grill. Wrap leeks in aluminium foil packet and set aside. To make the patties, remove the sausage from the casing and cut into small pieces. In a a large bowl, combine the sausage with the chuck, sirloin, ale, rosemary, marmite and 2 tsps of salt. Mix well but minimally to avoid compression of the mixture. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into bap sized patties, creating an indentation in the center of each patty for better cooking. Cover and keep at room temperature. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place bacon slices on grill and cook 3-4 minutes per side until begin to brown and crisp. Remove from heat and set aside on paper towels to drain. Clean and re-oil grill. Sprinkle each patty with the remaining 2 tsp of salt and immediately place the patties on the rack. Cook covered, turning once, about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium. Meanwhile, place the foil packet with the leeks on the outer edge of the rack to gently heat. During the final minutes of grilling the patties, place bacon on the outside of grill in small piles to warm. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. Sprinkle each patty with stilton cheese 30 seconds before removing them from grill and cover with lid to faciliate cheese melting. To assemble the burgers, spread one teaspoon of the English mustard on the cut side of each roll. On each roll bottom, place several rocket leaves, a patty, an equal portion of the caramelized leeks and 2 bacon slices. Add the bap tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers


Thanks for continuing such a great tradition! Looking forward to watching this year's events unfold. With warmth - Christine