Pint and a Hackney horseburger, please

HORSEMEAT burgers are going on the menu in London pubs. And they are a hit, despite the continuing scandal over illicit horsemeat in some UK supermarket burgers earlier this year.

The Three Compasses, above, in Dalston E8 1NH will offer horsemeat in buns for a week from tomorrow evening 12 March 2013 and the Lord Nelson in Southwark SE1 0LR started selling 100 per cent horsemeat burgers two weeks ago.

At the Dalston pub, beloved of Hackney hipsters, cook Michael Brown is devising horsemeat versions of his StephenFriesBurgers, with names such as the Shetland (a mini burger) and the biggest, the Trojan (three burgers). He expects to sell about 25 a day.Brown was inspired to try an equine fry when he heard his mother wondering why supermarket food containing horsemeat had to be discarded.

He told Loving Dalston: “It would be better if people in the UK learnt to eat horses.” He sourced the mince from Kezie Foods, an officially regulated British supplier.

Pony express: Brown’s high-speed cooking at the Three Compasses
Pony express: Brown’s high-speed cooking

At the Lord Nelson pub-goers were buying more than 100 horseburgers a week.

Co-owner Simon Ward said: “I think it was just the chance to try something different,” he said. “The burger was deemed pretty tasty, though — none were returned or left.

“We have served camel, ostrich, wildebeest, wild boar, elk, kudu, kangaroo, llama, zebra, bison, reindeer, water buffalo and springbok, so horse wasn’t a great leap for us or our customers.

“All our meat is sourced via Gamston Wood Farm, an established vendor in Borough Market. So as long it’s well-sourced and of good quality, we’ll give anything a go.”

The Lord Nelson also sold a 50/50 burger: a bun with two burgers in it, “one of our home-made beef and one of horse”. “It was a joke,” Mr Ward said,  “to mock the rubbish sold in supermarkets.” The saddled-with-wordplay Brown will be doing something similar at the 3C.

David Altheer

* Three Compasses, 99 Dalston Lane E8 1NH; Lord Nelson, 243 Union Street, Borough SE1 0LR

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