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There are not many who don’t appreciate a fine ‘gourmet’ burger, meat or meat-free. Their charms never seemingly wain, especially when creating your own towering pièce de résistance with delicate layers of fresh ingredients.

Readying ourselves for National Burger Day on August 27,2020, we revisit one of the finest places we’ve found to enjoy this hearty dish, The Astor Grill, Cliveden, with a selection of irresistible choices:

Falafel & halloumi burger (v)
Sriracha mayo, sweet potato fries £18

Astor burger
smoked cheese, bacon, pickle, slaw and fries £20

Spiced lamb burger
mint jelly, cucumber raita, fries £20

Paul O’Neil, Executive Chef at Cliveden, and former Roux Scholar, shares what makes a great burger:

“For me the key to a great burger starts with good quality beef from a local butcher, they will mince the meat for you. We use a mix of chuck steak for its lean, rich flavour and short rib which has plenty of fat that will keep the meat moist during cooking. I like to keep the seasoning simple as we want the meat to stand out with its natural flavours, I use a pinch of salt, mustard powder and I add a little duck fat to the mince to help keep the burger succulent and juicy. When cooking, it’s important to get a good seal on the outside of the burger by cooking it on a chargrill, cast iron skillet or BBQ for a couple of minutes on each side. Then, cover it with a lid to steam until the meat is cooked all the way through.

You will need a good quality bun; brioche is a great choice as it has a slight sweetness which pairs wonderfully with the saltiness of the meat. The bun should also be toasted on the grill as this will strengthen the bread and prevents it from soaking up excess juices from the ingredients.

Finally, two of my must have items for an exceptional burger are cheese and garnishes. For the cheese, I like a delicious smoked cheddar or raclette as this adds another dimension to the burger. When it comes to the garnishes, gherkins are a must have as they really help cut through the richness of the meat, I then add a couple of slices of ripe tomatoes, some crisp salad and a good burger relish, we use a Bois Boudran recipe.”

For those that haven’t sampled the delights of the classic American and British dishes at The Astor Grill, many reminiscent of Cliveden’s diverse owners and residents – then prepare yourself to be amazed.

Luxury Restaurant Club members enjoy additional privileges dining at Cliveden, see details here

The Astor Grill, Cliveden, Cliveden Road, Taplow, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 0JF

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