The sirloin, rump and rib eye were slung on for a good flaming. After being rested for as long as we could bear it, we carved them up for a steaky starter. We all had our favourites, but surprisingly mine was the sirloin (I'm usually a rib eye kind of girl). The creamy fat that lined the meat provided just the right amount of richness.
So onto the main course. Since the meat was already prepared for us, I couldn't help but cause myself more hassle and decided to try making my own brioche buns. This, of course was fraught with difficulty after I firstly had to do a mad dash for bread flour, and then while the dough was proving, realised the yeast was 6 months out of date. It didn't seem to affect it though, and they turned into little beauties. It was well worth the hassle, as their buttery sweetness was the perfect vehicle.
Some preferred their burgers simple, with just a slice of slappy cheese (the only cheese that I offered because I love it and I'm stubborn).
I like a bit of greenery in my burger, a little red onion and a slice of tomato. A touch of mustard to smear on the bun and a little ketchup is also required. I was sad I forgot the pickle.
The burgers from Donald Russell were appropriately beefy; at first I was a bit dubious about them, what with being 100% steak mince. Other burgers I've tried usually have a bit of fat in them, and these could have done with some to be extra juicy. We ate our first burger and I thought something was missing. When we slapped the others on (yes, we ate two burgers each...) I realised it was salt, and a liberal hand while they were cooking rectified that.
The brioche recipe was from Smitten Kitchen - I made a couple of adjustments and converted it to UK measurements (I'm not going to go into how much cup measurements annoy me), so here it is:
Brioche Burger Buns
450gr strong bread flour
150gr plain flour
2.5 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp milk, warmed
1.5 tsp salt
1 sachet of active dry yeast
In a bowl, add the warm milk, water, sugar and yeast to it and give it a good mix. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, add the two flours, the salt, and rub the butter in to create a crumbly texture. Beat an egg and add it in, then mix in the yeast mixture. Combine well. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until it's nice and smooth. Put it back into the bowl and cover it with clingfilm, leaving it for two hours to rise to double the size. It might not take that long if your kitchen is warm enough.
Divide the dough into 8 and then roll into a burger bun shape and place on greaseproof paper on an oven tray. Leave enough room between them (I had to do mine in 2 batches) for them to expand while cooking. Leave for an hour. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Glaze with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place a tray of water on the bottom shelf of the oven, then bake the buns for 15 minutes on a middle shelf. Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.