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Is that Burger or a Sandwich?

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Dear Tooting & Balham Foodies, I hope all is well and that you’ve enjoyed your summer. It certainly seems that lots of you got away and I hope that you were able to enjoys some sunshine, a few cold ones, and indulge in some fab food. The height of summer in Blighty is now firmly behind us (did we actually have one?), with bank holidays over till Christmas (yes we’re there already!), the kids back in school, and darker cooler evenings drawing in, but I am hoping that the forecast for next week is right and we’ve got another week or two of good weather before it’s truly over!


For us Brits, BBQing is very much a summer pursuit. Every May to June, rusty kettle bbq’s are taken out of deep storage, grill plates given a shake down and gas bbq bottles given a shake to see if they need topping up. Ready for a summer of bangers and burgers being burnt in honour of our need to eat food cooked over fire! Then packed away at the end of August, beginning of September ready for the whole ritual to be repeated again the following year.



In the southern US states, things are a little different. BBQ is an all year round pleasure, not just something for summer. Restaurants are handed down generation to generation and are focal points for their community. The famous Skylight Inn’s (Ayden, NC) record for WHOLE hog’s cooked in a day is 100! BBQ in the South is like that of the worlds wine regions, where every hundred miles or so you’ll be able to experience a completely different BBQ tradition. It’s taken seriously, with each region having its own distinct style and take on things that the locals swear by. In North Carolina, its’ pork is king; in Texas, beef brisket rules supreme, in Owensboro Kentucky, you’ll only find lamb! And that’s before you get to the sauces!


At The Southern Kitchen we want to be authentic and real in what we do, being in the UK, we aren’t as hamstrung by history, and whilst we started our smoking and BBQ journey with Eastern North Carolina style Pulled Pork, there’s so many styles out there that we enjoy. Fierce local loyalties are changing in US too, the modern world now sees consumers with broader horizons that want to see more than just the local specialty. Less traditional BBQ joints are now offering a wide range of BBQ styles much to the chagrin of purists. Does this lack of history loose the ‘cue a lick of flavour? Quite possibly. Traditional pits are slowly being grand-fathered out, and with that disappears some of the romance of being a pitmaster, with that something special that ends up in the food on your plate.


Perfectly rare sliced beef

So not being one to be stuck in tradition, and not just being hot weather BBQ’ers, we’re giving you a twist on our Burger Friday, with a smoked pit beef burger. Taking the finest topside roasting joint from our friends at the Ginger Pig, we brine our beef to make it succulent and juicy, before rubbing it in ground pepper and coffee to help give a nice bark and surface for the smoke to cling too. After about 4 hrs in the smoker our beef is now perfectly rare and ready to be thinly sliced, and placed in baps that are smeared in our home-made horseradish sauce and a dollop of special pit beef sauce. This is roast beef perfection and is exactly the kind of thing that I can imagine the Earl of Sandwich eating when he famously asked for “thin slices of beef between two pieces of bread”.


Our Pit Beef Burger/Sandwich slathered in our home-made sauces

This is fit for a king! (or the earl sandwich!)


The only real question is not “shall I have one?”* But, “is it a burger or a sandwich?”



*Answer – of course I shall!

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