Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Spotted Pig Burger (NY) in London

£16.50 including a blonde wig of shoestring fries. Sadly only available in London during a two-day pop-up at St. JOHN's restaurant


Chef April Bloomfield's New York gastropub, The Spotted Pig serves a well-loved blue cheese-topped burger which I was lucky enough to sample here in London a couple of weeks ago when Bloomfield took over the kitchen at St. JOHN's Michelin-starred restaurant for a two-day pop-up at the end of October...

According to the Spotted Pig Burger recipe which Bloomfield published via The Telegraph back in 2009, she used to make her now famous burger with a blue cheese, creme fraiche and garlic dressing rather than with unadulterated Roquefort:


That recipe also reveals that she used to serve the burger with buttermilk-battered fried onion rings (as shot by James Merrell, above) NOT with a mountain of shoestring fries (as now). Which makes me wonder if she still favours a blend of brisket (50%), rump (25%) and chuck (25%) to make her patties.

Patty composition aside, I applaud the simplification of Bloomfield's burger. Gone is the fuss (and the potential drips) of a dressing, as my Spotted Pig Burger (shown, top) was simply topped with crumbled Roquefort and served in a toasted, slightly sweet briochey bun. No lettuce, no onion, no pickles, no dressing, no ketchup, no "extras". Just delightfully tasty beef and salty blue Roquefort in a rich bun bearing the charred scars (and flavours) of that which is perfectly toasted. Hats off: why meddle or fuss when these flavours alone provide such joy? 

I've got to say, the shoestring fries are a genius touch, too. Not because I prefer them to normal fries - actually I don't as a general rule, although in this case they tasted divine, thanks to the addition of crispy fried rosemary leaves and slices of garlic. No, the reason I thought they were so clever is because in a restaurant (especially St. JOHN with it's new Michelin star) people seem determined to eat whatever is served with the cutlery provided. But guess what? A fork is completely useless when it comes to picking up Bloomfield's shoestring fries. 


The only way you can eat them is by shovelling them into your mouth by hand. And inevitably straggly crispy worms of fried potato end up protruding from your mouth after each attempt to get as many of them into it as you can. It's gloriously undignified and enormously good fun! And, of course, it reminds you (if you're the type that needs reminding) that burgers and fries should be picked up and eaten hand to mouth. 

And in the hand, the Spotted Pig Burger will issue forth no drips of grease, or splurges of ketchup and other superfluous sauce. There isn't any. Here is a perfectly designed, brilliantly understated handful of wonderfully tasty beef and cheese housed consummately in a golden, charred bun. April, St. JOHN, I implore you: please do this again, SOON!

************************************

The Spotted Pig
314 W 11th Street @ Greenwich Street
New York
NY 10014

Tel: (212) 620 0393


1 comment:

Ingo Bauer - iPad POS system said...

That looks crispy and tasty. Thanks for sharing.

Post a Comment

All comments are welcome here on the Burgerac blog - but please note that anonymously left comments may not be posted