In case you hadn’t noticed, the festive season is well and truly underway. The Christmas Markets came to town a couple of weeks ago, there have been Christmas ads on TV for ages, and we haven’t even opened the first window on our advent calendar yet.
Whether you’re religious or not, there’s no denying it’s a special time of year. We give each presents, get time off work, and on Christmas Day we put on our paper party hats and enjoy a Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings) with our loved ones before opening a big tin of Roses and settling down to watch The Great Escape on TV for the 1000th time. It’s a good job the build up to Christmas Day lasts for weeks because it’s usually over in a flash.
Christmas means different things to different people. But to most of us it’s all about eating, drinking and being merry. After all, a bit of over indulgence never hurt anyone. Well, actually it did, but hey, it’s Christmas, and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of over- indulgence.
When it comes to food, we like to eat something a bit special during the festive period. For Christmas dinner, this involves stuffing as many different types of birds inside each other as is humanly possible. And there’s nothing wrong with that, just as long as they’re not alive. But what about the rest of the festive period?
For many people, this is where the Christmas burger comes into its own. These marvels of culinary engineering are burgers in their best party frocks, packed with as many of your favourite festive flavours as it’s possible to cram between two buns. And sprouts,too – the Christmas equivalent of the gherkin.
The Christmas burger may be the star of the show but the supporting cast of festive food treats is pretty impressive, too. And they probably all taste better than a partridge in a pear tree. We’ve gone to the trouble of listing 12, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas, in no particular order, for the simple reason that we haven’t tried them all. We just like looking at them.
1. Infamous Diner
The Christmas Turkey Burger comes with candy bacon, gherkins, lettuce, tomato, and cranberry sauce, with your choice of cajun seasoned fries and coleslaw. Yum!
The Hawksmoor Christmas Burger consists of a juicy slab of crispy fried turkey topped with a sausage patty made from Ginger Pig Tamworth pork, along with smoked bacon, sprout tops, spiced cranberry ketchup, a cheeky slice of Ogleshield cheese and turkey gravy for you to French dip the whole thing in. It’s on the bar menu at Hawksmoor every day from midday until the end of December. No booking required. Just a healthy appetite.
The SoLita Christmas Burger 2015 contains candied pig in blanket, goose fat roast potato, cranberry & port sauce, deep fried sprouts, honey roast gammon, sliced Monterey Jack cheese, buttermilk fried turkey, 7oz minced chuck steak patty, rich turkey gravy all in a seeded brioche bun with a stuffing ball on top. Wash down with a shooter of Mars Bar eggnog to help you work, rest and play.
4. Almost Famous
For Christmas in a bun why not try the Son of a Nutcracker consisting of *deep breath* juicy cheeseburger, BBQ spiced sausage stuffing patty, buttermilk fried turkey, festive creamy slaw, bacon and cranberry jam, sweet JD BBQ sauce, brandy buttered peppercorn mayo, ultimate sausage roll, pig in blanket and pot of gravy. And breathe.
5. Red’s True Barbecue
Warning. This is not a burger but a Christmas Feast featuring oak smoked turkey, baby back ribs, BBQ chicken wings, jerk country ribs, cheese & jalapeño links in blankets, pulled pork stuffing balls and festive cornbread. Served with candied yams, cauliflower cheese grill, BBQ green beans and fries. Phew.
6. Crazy Pedro’s
Anything burgers can do, pizzas can do, too. So why not get festive with the ‘Merry Christmas (Ya Filthy Animal)’, a cracker of a pizza featuring turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry drizzle and sage! Christmas in a pizza. Mistletoe not included.
7. Splendid Kitchen
A walloping 7oz serving of beef, chestnut and bacon patty, topped with juicy sprouts, flaked ham and their three cheese mix, dollop of stuffing and sausage wrapped in a bacon tower over the burger, served in a pumpkin and sage bun and a side portion of naked fries. Splendid by name, splendid by nature.
8. All Star Lanes
A breaded, fried turkey burger with homemade stuffing, melted Monterey Jack cheese, treacle-cured bacon and cranberry sauce, finished off with a skewered pig in blanket.
9. Dog Bowl
Beer Can Chicken is a modern take on the Sunday roast – a whole chicken roasted around a can of beer so while the skin is getting crispy, the beer is steaming the inside to keep the bird tender and moist. Treat your belly for just £20 (perfect for two, or one if you missed breakfast).
10. Byron Hamburgers
Father Cheesemas consists of two 6oz hamburgers, bacon, cheese, crispy bacon, pickles, shredded iceberg, chipotle ketchup and honey mustard sauce.
11. Filthy Cow
Okay, so they don’t have a Christmas burger, so strictly speaking they shouldn’t be on this list. But – and it’s a big but, if you’ll pardon the expression – they’ve just launched a Filthy Fiver offer – classic burger and Coke for just a fiver. Perfect for saving your pennies for Christmas gifts. What’s more, they now offer full table service, so bag yourself a feeding pen in their Tib Lane bar near Albert Square and chew the cud with your mates while they do the fussing. Quality burgers at a bargain price with lots of naughty puns thrown in for free.
Christmas time, ribeye-or-chimichurri-infused-chicken-roast-dinner-with-all-the-trimmings and wine – a glass or two of Malbec with cinnamon and orange, of course.
You know it, you love it, you asked for it…. now all you need to do is sit back and enjoy!