Surf & Turf Burger of Shame

September 15, 2012


Surf and Turf Burger

Shame is one of my favourite ingredients. I am the queen of the guilty pleasure, the mistress of filth, the dominatrix of ‘so wrong it’s right’. Of course I try to eat the best quality food I can, most of the time. The rest of the time I’m necking Diet Coke, processed cheese, SPAM, instant noodles, SPAM with instant noodles, SPAM on rice with a fried egg on top, fish balls, crab sticks and…McDonald’s.

I love McDonald’s, despite everything that is bad about it, and I don’t care who knows. I’m particularly a fan of what I like to call ‘The Inhalable’ – the 99p cheeseburger which can be eaten in a few bites. I find it hard to pass a Maccy D’s without nabbing one. The fillet o fish is seriously underrated; the sausage and egg McMuffin is a hangover bashing salt fest and the Big Mac is, well, a classic.

If you’re gasping with shock and horror at this point, you’re probably reading the wrong blog.

So the Big Mac ‘special sauce’ is something I’ve been trying to get right for quite a long time. Recipes do exist on the internet, which are supposedly based on the actual recipe released by McD’s but are in fact nothing like the real thing; they also call for ingredients we can’t find easily in the UK. Then, the other day, Mr. Essex Eating published a recipe for something called ‘fry sauce’. This looked very much like Big Mac sauce so I made it the same evening and blow me down if it wasn’t pretty much there and AND I could now put as much of it as I like in my burger.


So a partner in crime was enlisted and some serious burgers got made. Way too much incredible minced chuck was purchased from O’Sheas in Knightsbridge (no point dicking about; I like to mix filth with quality to enhance the feeling of guilt), buns were acquired from the fabulous Kindred Bakery in Herne Hill (they stand up really well to a juicy boiger), prawns were nabbed from the fishmonger….yeah that’s right, surf and turf, baby. You see, the sauce is remarkably similar to that used in a fried shrimp po’ boy; it works with the beef, it works with the prawns, now why not bring them all to that party? I’d ummed and ahhed between prawns or beef, prawns or beef until I was told in no uncertain terms by PiC (partner in crime) that both were going in.

It was glorious. Crunchy spiced cornmeal coated deep fried prawns, medium rare patties of shit hot beef, slappy cheese, iceberg, loads of rip off Big Mac sauce and of course, the magic ingredient, a hefty dollop of shame.

Surf and Turf Burger of Shame

Minced beef for burgers (size depends on your bun; it’s not hard, just form it into a patty, not too thick)
Slappy processed cheese slices
Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Onion, sliced as thinly as possible
Buns, lightly toasted
About 4 raw king prawns per burger
Polenta, for coating the prawns
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning (or substitute some celery salt plus paprika)
Oil, for deep frying

Pretty simple, this. Get a plate and cover it with a generous amount of polenta plus the Old Bay Seasoning, a little salt and some pepper.

Heat your oil for deep frying and get your heavy pan on for cooking the burgers so its nice and hot. When the oil is ready, dip each prawn in egg, then in the polenta, then drop into the oil. Do them in small batches so the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.

Cook the burgers to your liking – couple of minutes each side. I turn them a few times as I’ve seen burgery expert people doing. Apparently it’s advisable to turn them as frequently as possible – knock yourself out. Melt the cheese slice on top after the final turn. Then it’s an assembly job. I won’t patronise you. Put the burger together with PLENTY of fry sauce.

Dan’s fry sauce (Dan’s recipe from Essex Eating)

Makes enough for 4 burgers

1 Tbs French’s classic yellow mustard
1 1/2 Tbs Heinz ketchup
2 Heaped Tbs Helmans mayonnaise
1 Tsp Colman’s English mustard
2 Heaped Tbs finely chopped gherkins or cornichons,
2 Dashes Tabasco
Dash Worcester sauce
Grind of Pepper

Mix it all together.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Su-Lin September 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Oh droooool…. Suddenly want burgers for dinner tomorrow…

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    Reply Alicia (foodycat) September 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I know we’ve never met. And I am straight and monogamous. But christ I want to hump your leg about now. This looks EPIC! (filet o fish and sausage & egg mcmuffin are my McDs of choice).

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      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

      Ha ha ha!

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    Reply Cat September 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I’d seen Dan’s fry sauce on Essex Eating the other day. And now I see this. I am *so* making these burgers!

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    Reply aoife September 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    holy shit this looks good. love a shame-food fest (had chili dogs as hangover breakfast today…)

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:49 am


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    Reply Kim Bee September 16, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I cannot stop laughing. Necking with diet coke. This burger rocked my world.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Glad I made you chuckle.

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    Reply msmarmitelover September 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

    LOVE filet o fish. Love the sauce on that too. Would buy it in jars if it were available.
    Great recipe for fry sauce. Funnily enough, been reading about this myself of late and wondered what it was. Such a pragmatic name ‘fry sauce’ as in, it’s a sauce to go with fried foods.

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      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Yeah I love the name too. And yes fillet o fish sauce YES YES YES. I’d also buy it if I could. Perhaps it’s next on the list…

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    Reply Robert September 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Two words


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    Reply JR_in_Devon September 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    OMG that looks lush. I too love McD’s but I must admit I do prefer a Burger King Whopper. Unfortunately I can no longer eat any yeast products, so I get them to make it in a wrap for me. Just as nice. Great recipe, I will try it in a wrap soon…

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Do let me know what you think!

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    Reply Sally - My Custard Pie September 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    It would be worth getting a really bad hangover just to test this burger’s (boiger!) restorative powers.

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    Reply Vicky @ Ursine Cuisine September 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Good grief, that is inspired! And I really, really enjoyed the whole post – shame definitely has a tangible flavour.

    I haven’t had a McDonalds for about 12 years, but my guilty pleasures are instant noodles, fried chicken, those shitty 99p cheese and onion sandwiches, and fake cheese flavour – Quavers, Wotsits, Dairylea, even Cheesestrings *shudders as shame racks the body*

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      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

      I’m rather partial to those cheese and onion plastic sandwiches myself actually. So many guilty pleasures.

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    Reply Gene September 17, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Fantastic! If you’re going to a burger, you should always go ‘all in’ and, boy you did! Great job!!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

      I always go all in 🙂

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    Reply Favourite Table September 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

    OMG I’ve made them twice and both time my family ate them without stoping to take a breath, Great,, fast and easy receipt. Worst part was taking off the tails, but I have helpers for that now. Passed the receipt on to my sister in law who will be makeing them next week.

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    Reply Hungry September 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Mother of god. You can tell I overuse facebook since i read through this thinking ‘like.. like… LIKE’.

    that my friend, is a thing of filthy beauty, and love topping o’sheas with some plastic cheese and more filth.

    I’m going to be dreaming about this all day.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 17, 2012 at 11:46 am

      I did feel a little bit wrong topping the O’Shea’s with filth but like I said, loving the shame…

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    Reply Paul September 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Now this is what life is all about. GOOD WORK!

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    Reply Sharon (Trini Caribbean Catering) September 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    One Burger ……. meal for 4!!

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    Reply Ed September 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Filthy, filthy, filthy good.

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    Reply Sir Arthur September 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Dirty Girl…

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    Reply Sir Arthur September 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

    The bun looks amazing.
    Does anyone have any idea how they actually make those sort of buns ?
    Is some sort of steaming involved ?

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    Reply Lizzie September 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Prawns! Beef! Prawns! Beef! You crazy, yo. It looks awesome. I love a good filthy shame binge.

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    Reply Andrew Copley September 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    This is getting made on Saturday; looks wonderfully decadent.

    I find it next to impossible to find decent Burger Buns so am going to attempt these Light Brioche ones, which according to my friend at work are the ultimate bun:

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      Reply Helen September 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Great, thanks for the link!

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    Reply Rich September 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Filthy wonder… when are you going to get all of this published so I can be smug about having read about it first!


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      Reply Helen September 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Ha ha! You’re very kind (not any time soon I don’t think ha ha)

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    Reply Tim Maitland September 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    wow just what I’m craving right now. Great photography too

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    Reply Andrew Copley September 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Cooked them on Saturday for all the family, including My Mum and Dad; went down a treat. The prawns in polenta and old bay seasoning were lush! The only down side was my attempt at making the light brioche buns; they were a disaster and had to be binned!!

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      Reply Helen September 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Oh no! Which recipe did you use?

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    Reply Ashley Bee September 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Omg… This burger. THIS BURGER. Can it be in my mouth RIGHT FREAKING NOW PLEASE?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Ha ha! Glad you (CLEARLY) like the look of it 😉

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    Reply The Grubworm September 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    The very best sort of down-and-dirty-guilty-pleasure-food-with-extra-shame always uses great meat. It’s the guilty secret of guilty secrets… At least for me.

    I am really liking the prawn and burger combo here, particularly with cheese. Sigh. Protein heavy gateway to heaven.

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      Reply Helen September 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Totally agree on the meat. Filthy good is obviously quite different from just cheap mince etc. aka filthy bad.

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    Reply Adam Garratt September 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    That burger looks utterly delish! I make them with a wedge of gruyere hidden inside the burger, as it cooks the cheese melts into a gooey pocket of dairy joy. I’m trying that sauce too

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      Reply Helen September 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Ooooh, cheeky Gruyere pocket

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    Reply Chris Maher September 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

    a while back, I made the po’ boy as per your recipe and was chuffed to discover the sauce was basically big mac sauce! i have since made it for bbq burgers, shortcutting making the mayo from scratch that time.

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      Reply Helen September 27, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Aha! You were onto it before I was…

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    Reply Chris Cole September 28, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Ahem, some people are sort of, kinda like missing your banter, chat and that other stuff you do.. recipes. Did the burger of shame damage your creative urges?
    I’m new to your blog but have become, in two days, addicted. Like I am to eating food, talking food, thinking food and reading food. Finding no recent additions to your blog is like coming off Heroin and mainlining tapwater. More please!

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      Reply Helen September 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Awww bless you! I currently have no internet at home, see. Normal service resumed shortly…

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    Reply Ramón Lorenzo Lafuente October 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Absolutely guilty!

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    Reply Hamilton Courtney October 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Phoarr, that looks bloody amazing.
    I personally would of never thought of combining both meat and seafood in a burger but this looks exquisite. Will definitely have to give it a go soon!

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    Reply Tv Food and Drink October 4, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Unbelievable! I love it! And those pics. I can already picture myself lying on the couch petting my belly with a tender “there, there.” Thanks for sharing!

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      Reply Helen October 4, 2012 at 8:29 am

      I think I did in fact do rather a lot of belly patting afterwards. Poor distended belly.

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