Butcher’s burger crowned best in Britain

Sandy Crombie with the prize-winning steak, cheese and chive burger. Picture: Greg Macvean
Sandy Crombie with the prize-winning steak, cheese and chive burger. Picture: Greg Macvean
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WITH the barbecue season almost upon us and a bank holiday days away, Crombies of Edinburgh looks set to do a sizzling trade after one of its creations was crowned the burger king.

The famous Broughton Street butcher – which produces thousands of burgers a week in the summer months – made mincemeat of the opposition with its succulent steak, cheese and chive masterpiece.

It won the specialist burger category of a high steaks contest at the prestigious Q Guild BBQ Competition grand final, staged at the Weber Grill Academy in Oxford.

Owner Jonathan Crombie said: “We’ve had this on sale for a couple of years now and our customers really like it. We love these competitions – it’s all part of the fun.

“For us, it’s a great part of the Q Guild, getting to share knowledge and expertise with other butchers.”

Finalists were chosen from all seven regions of the Q Guild, which represents 110 elite butchers from the Highlands to Cornwall, after a number of regional heats.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges, including Jeremy Fowler, the only Master BBQ judge in Europe and former executive chef to the Sultan of Brunei and personal chef to Mohammed al Fayed.

Consultant manager Sandy Crombie, 74, said: “It was really quite something. We were up against some of the best butchers in Britain. There was some tough competition.

“Because we are mixing with the best in the business we are always improving. That’s what we do inside the Guild. We pick up ideas and we share them. It is quite a sharing culture.

“We enjoy entering competitions. If you are pushed, you try to improve your products.

“It is good for the customers because they know we are always trying to achieve a bit more. You can never have perfection but we are always striving towards it.”

The burger is made from shoulder steak from Gateside Farm in Linlithgow, cheddar cheese and chopped chives, and was developed by manager Brian Barclay.

The burgers have always been popular and are likely to prove even more so following this latest plaudit.

But Sandy insisted that there was no chance of the shop running out as the barbecue season heats up.

“We react to the weather and to what’s happening. We can make them very quickly. We can run off a batch in 15 minutes.”

The shop, opened in 1955 by Alex Crombie, has won a number of awards over the years, including “Scotland’s Best Butcher’s Beef Sausage”.

Crombies has the largest range of sausages in Scotland, and its 1 o’clock bangers also wowed judges in the regional heats.

Staff are always experimenting with different flavour combinations – to meat changing tastes.