Burger Buns & Muddy Boots

Written by: Georgina Ingham | Posted: 12-10-2009

I know it’s taken me a good while to get around to telling you, my lovely readers, that I visited the Ludlow Food Festival this year. What a delight, a sight to behold indeed. Stand upon stand of fabulous foods, drinks and kitchenalia all set out in the picturesque town centre of Ludlow.

It goes without saying that I came home laden with bags of shopping and then faced the post shopping dilemma of ‘where do I actually store all this stuff?’ I do that all the time, buy without a notion of how I’ll be able to store the item, but eventually everything found a home, well almost. 

Whilst there I got chatting to Miranda on the Muddy Boots stall and she offered a few taster pieces of beef burger, ever gladly accepted — sure the chance to try good food can’t be missed, these tasters were outstanding and I just had to buy a few for our freezer. Burgers are not something I would ever normally consider buying ready made; firstly because I am always so weary that the ingredients will fall below my standards and secondly because they so simple to make yourself. Muddy Boots burgers were an exception to the rule. 

Muddy boots say:

Muddy Boots is the only company in the country to exclusively use 21-day matured, grass-fed, pure-bred Aberdeen Angus Beef to make home-made meals and beef burgers, simply because we asked the question, “Why shouldn’t meals and burgers get the best beef too?”

Our beef is from an entirely grass-reared herd, which is born and raised at Church Farm in Shrawley, Worcestershire. The grass-rearing means that our beef is packed full Omega 3 and 6, which is great for our bodies and minds and good beef like this is a top source of potassium, iron and vitamin B.

… about the burgers …

We don’t add salt, we let you add that yourself. We don’t use breadcrumbs, just a little egg to bind, so they’re gluten free. Burgers haven’t been handled very well in the past and there’s no reason why they should be so processed and contain such low quality beef.

On chatting with Miranda it became highly evident that the above was a really heart felt passion about ethical farming and eating not cleverly worded personal relations spin and that sold it to me. 

I had these bookmarked instantly for a burger and fries meal, albeit a top notch one, even though Muddy Boots have this to say:

The biggest compliment we’ve been lucky to receive a few times is that people have bought our burgers at farmers’ markets and served them at dinner parties — not in a bap, nor with plastic cheese nor a serving of greasy floppy fries… This makes our day.

So sorry Muddy Boots but for me there is nothing wrong with a top quality serving of burger and fries.

I froze the burgers on return home, and there they sat patiently waiting for the night when quick and simple really was the order of the day. Friday night was the night. Whilst I had the day off work and so had time to prepare and plan the other family members weren’t going to be home until late and would want something they could easily eat, sat on the sofa, relaxing after a hard days work. 

Top notch burgers deserved top notch bread so I made some burger baps earlier in the day. I used King Arthur’s Flour Beautiful Burger Buns recipe and oh my goodness me they were beautiful indeed. Light, slightly chewy and sweet in an almost challah like way from the enrichment with butter and eggs.

The recipe requested the use of plain flour, which would give a slightly softer dough, but I didn’t have any – the shock of it, I have over 15 varieties of flour in my cupboard but no plain! I debated whether to go shopping and decided against it, choosing instead to use Tipo 00 flour, an Italian flour which is similar in make up to a blend of half bread flour to half plain flour. Next time I will use plain flour so as I can compare the results.

I brushed the rolls with melted butter before baking and sprinkled half the batch with poppy seeds as I love them. Sesame seeds could be used instead if you prefer. If you like a more golden roll egg wash could be used to brush the rolls before baking but I find that sometimes it makes for a slightly crisper top and I don’t really care for that in a burger bun.

The original burgers were meaty and juicy with a real smoky barbecue hit even though I only cooked them in a frying pan, the griddle didn’t get a look in. How did they manage that? According to the website the original burgers contain only beef, parsley, tomato puree and black pepper, making for a very simple but tasty burger. If you fancy something a little more fancy Muddy Boots also sell several other more adventurous burgers.

As soon as I have more freezer space available I will be stocking up with Muddy Boots goodies, steaks and beef joints are top of the list.

I filled the bun with a lovely juicy burger, some fresh lettuce, sliced home grown tomatoes and some lovely tangy, organic mayonnaise from Riverford. Nothing else was needed, I did originally plan on serving some red onion chutney too but in the end I left the burgers to sing out with their own flavoursome goodness. They needed no adulteration, sometimes the simple things in life are best :)

I’d go so far as to say I haven’t eaten a better burger than this in the UK ever. The sweetness of the burger bun and the deep smokiness of the burger were reminiscent of the hamburgers I ate while on childhood holidays in Florida.

I suppose now would be a good enough time as any to introduce the event, 67 Days of Smiles in Orlando – an event where two Orlando Smile Ambassadors (Kyle & Stacey) will be experiencing all of Orlando’s more than 100 attractions in just 67 days. They have been documenting and reporting their adventures in their blog, on Twitter (@67Days) and via the Visit Orlando Facebook fan page. Do take the time to look at the websites and if you’re a member of Twitter follow them too. Orlando holds many a fond holiday memory for me, it was my first place Stateside to visit and reading the blog has stirred up some great memories.

Kyle and Stacey are not just visiting theme parks and major tourist attractions but local places to eat, local events and other off the beaten track style events such as historical walking tours.  Beware though looking though all the lovely dining experiences may make you hungry, although, you could just head back on over here for some recipe ideas.

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