Since the grand opening of our doors (where we flooded the street of Cambridge with the queues for our delicious burgers), we’ve been asked to describe ourselves. Are we just another Cambridge restaurant? Are we a Gourmet Burger restaurant? What exactly ARE we? The answer is that we are the restaurant that separates itself form all others in Cambridge. Yes, we do pride ourselves on serving great burgers, but we’re so much more than that. In this post we wanted to explain more about our vision and why we consider ourselves to be a cut above all other Cambridge restaurants.
Butch Annie’s is the ultimate burger bar. Created by food lovers for food lovers. Burgers aren’t just burgers they are the ultimate all-in-bun meal. 2 hands, no knives or forks needed. A whole meal in a bun. In the case of our 100% beef or Iberico pork burgers they are meat and a few veg in a bun. Our veggie burgers are exactly that, all veggie. When your whole meal (ok, except the sides) is in one bun then Butch believes you have to make sure all the ingredients in the bun and the bun itself should be the best they can possibly be. So let’s start with the beef. Our beef is from one farmer, a great friend of Butch Annie’s. He has been farming 100% pure breed indigenous Hereford cattle in Hereford all his working life. Like Dr Dolittle he talks to his animals. Each cow has a name and is treated with a Led Zeppelin ‘Whole Lotta Love’. How do we know this, well we know because we know Butch Annie and Butch knows the farmer because he is his friend and any friend of Butch Annie’s is a compassionate soul. How will our customers know the cattle are well loved? Well simply, they will know in the flavour of the beef. As the cows are pasture fed, on fresh beautiful green grass, nearly all year round this translates to awesome beefy flavour. In the winter the grass doesn’t grow much so fresh grass is hard to come by so they are fed on organic feed during this period. All our beef patties, that is every single one comes from these 100% pure breed Herefords farmed by Butch Annie’s farmer friend. No exception. Even when we are so busy in the bar we need to make more than our normal amount of patties we only use the same beef. Every single burger come rain come shine is made from the same beef. This way we can guarantee the flavour and the provenance of the meat. This is of upmost importance. No compromise. Where there is compromise there can be a dip in quality and Butch Annie, as mentioned before is trying to deliver the perfect burger every time.
So on to the other meat that forms our Special Iberico burgers. What the heck is Iberico pork? Well this out-of-this-world in flavour pork comes from the Iberico pig? The Iberico pigs roam a truly vast area (100’s of square miles) of Spain called the Dehesa in Estremadura. The area is controlled but being so big is effectively wild. The Iberico pig is more wild boar than pig, roaming around sniffing under the hundreds of thousands of oak trees for the acorns they feed on which gives their meat this unique nutty intensity. The back legs of these beautiful beasts when cured is called Pata Negra or Jamon de Bellota. You would have seen these legs hanging from the ceiling of nearly every tapas bar in the land. Ask any Italian who has had this ham sliced from the leg and they will agree that this is the best ham in the world. So think of this amazing ham, think of the Iberico pig roaming the Dehesa and think what the fresh meat, minced and made into a patty would taste like in a burger. Well now you don’t just have to imagine it you can come and visit Butch Annie’s and find out for yourself. The owners of Butch Annie’s burger bar also own some tapas bars. They share the same relationship with an Iberico pig farmer that Butch Annie enjoys with his farmer friend in Hereford. All the Iberico pigs enjoy a wonderfully free and healthy life. They are chemical free and happy, happy as the happiest pigs in the world. The meat for the Iberico patties at Butch Annie’s like the 100% pure breed Hereford beef from Herefordshire comes from one farmer. We know we buy it. How do they know the pigs are there’s. They are all tagged. Each tag has information on that individual pig, information such as how old it is and it’s diet so the farmer knows exactly how the pig has been brought up over the years. Everything is accounted for so the patty in your Iberico burger at Butch Annie’s is consistent as humanly possible. If Carlsberg made burgers well if they thought about making burgers they probably wouldn’t, they would probably buy them from Butch Annie’s. Our burgers really are gourmet burgers. Designed to give optimum flavour and pleasure.
We don’t want to give away too much about Butch Annie’s secret recipe but we can tell you there is a North African pulse that is used and beetroot. The beetroot gives the patty a wonderful colour as well as flavour and texture. Our veggie patty actually looks a lot like a meat patty. The pulse and other ingredients give it meaty texture too. Overall the flavour is quite neutral which we believe is a great thing as it means you taste all the other components of the burger. Many of our meat loving customers have tried the veggie patty and love eating it too for this reason. It is a different and very rewarding experience. At Butch Annie’s we don’t limit our veggie friends to one or two options like most of the other burger bars in the country. We say remove the meat patty from any of the meat burgers,replace with the veggie patty and enjoy! As many options for the vegetarian as for the meat lover.
When constructing the perfect burger the Bun is hugelyimportant for a number of reasons. It holds everything together. If the juices from the burger…there should be juices by the way, if there aren’t then your patty is likely to be dry and not of the quality that Butch Annie’s produces…if these juices or the sauces used in the burger cause the bun to breakdown then the bun is not fit for purpose. A bun has to be light enough so it doesn’t bloat but sturdy so it doesn’t collapse on you. The trend for sweet brioche buns is an admirable one but many are too sweet in Butch Annie’s opinion. Getting the balance between earthy/meaty flavoured patties and sweet, soft bun is tricky. We developed our bun with the help from a critically acclaimed artisan baker and came up with the perfect result. A cream bun with a subtle sweetness sturdy enough to hold together with all our various burger/sauce combinations. No mean feat even though we say so ourselves. The poppy and sesame seed mix sprinkled on top of the bun add texture and flavour and add to the whole burger chomping experience. We also lightly toast them to order so they are that little bit lighter and easier to bite in to. Are you an upside downer like Butch Annie when you bite into your burger? Or do you eat yours the right way up? Watch others as they bite into theirs, a fascinating thing to watch.
Triple cooked skin-on chips with three different seasoning options. Maldon salt. Maldon salt and rosemary. Za’atar. Maldon is recognised by many of the world’ stop chefs as the best salt on the planet. Why would Butch use anything else. Rosemary is a glorious herb that has always paired beautifully with potatoes. Think rosemary roast potatoes with your Sunday roast. Often a top chef’s recommendation. Do you remember curry chips at the fish and chip shop? A classic British dish. Za’atar has is a dry curried spice mix and our modern take on this classic chip combination. Another rewarding experience and another reason why you need to visit Butch Annie’s more then once, twice, three times.
The onion ring a much loved food of many a burger bar. How can we improve on this Butch thought. Thought long and hard and experimented until the recipe for our onion ‘popcorn’ was perfected. Slices of onion and spring onion covered in chickpea and beer batter, made into imperfect little nuggets of perfectly wonderful tasting onion ‘popcorn’. We serve these with our spiced yoghurt dip. Flippin heck what a combination. Glorious.
So why not come and join us to see what all the fuss is about? Find Us on Market Street right in the heart of Cambridge town centre.