Day One: Pork Burgers with Apple-Onion Chutney

8 Oct

Instead of kicking things off with the standard slow cooked, pulled-style pork, I opted for something different. Burgers. For the past two summers I’ve been trying to perfect the burger, after reading a New York Times article on the subject. The most important thing I took away was the fat to meat ratio – the more fat, the better. Since the shoulder has so much fat, it fits the bill. I ended up making pork burgers with an apple-onion chutney, incorporating flavors typical of a fall season pork dish. While there are things that could be improved on (like, oh, maybe adding a compound butter to the center like I do with beef burgers), they turned out really well – juicy and tasty.

The recipe is below. I don’t have a specific quantity for the meat, since I just sort of chopped off a big chunk from a larger shoulder. I’d say that I probably used about 3/4 lb, which yielded 3 burgers. I also ground the pork at home in the food processor – I cubed the shoulder into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks, and cut off as much of the fat as I could. I processed the fat and meat separately since it takes a bit more work to break down fat, and then combined the two.

Pork Shoulder Burgers with Apple-Onion Chutney

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • pork shoulder, ground
  • jack cheese, sliced or grated
  • arugula
  • hamburger buns (or whatever bread/roll you like)

Combine the first nine ingredients (apple through balsamic) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 min to an hour, until it is thick and the liquid is reduced.

Mix the dijon mustard with the ground pork, and form into patties. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or grill) until very hot, over high heat. You want the pan very very hot to get a good crust. Cook the patties about 5 to 6 minutes per side (or more depending on thickness). Only turn once.  When the burgers are almost done, add the cheese and let melt.

Place some arugula on the bottom bun and top with the burger. Spoon the chutney over the burger.



2 Responses to “Day One: Pork Burgers with Apple-Onion Chutney”

  1. Uncle Jim October 9, 2010 at 2:18 AM #

    And what kind of bun, plain ol’ burger bun or a sourdough, litely grilled with butter.

  2. Jessica November 29, 2010 at 1:44 PM #

    ooooh yummmm!

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