It’s grilling season again and I want to share this pork burger recipe with you! If you’ve been around here awhile, you know my deep-seated love for all things pork and that love extends to pork burgers. I wanted to create something that reminded me of pork tacos. It had to have some heat, a vinegary bite from pickles, and the creaminess of avocado that you find it good tacos. It has all that and mixed with the juicy pork burger, it is absolutely delicious. I think I nailed it.
To quench your desire for all things burger, my newest creation is a Middle Eastern Lamb Burger with Tahini Yogurt sauce. It is simple, but so full of flavor!
Pork Burger Recipe
Pork sometimes gets a bad reputation and I’m not really sure why. It has tons of flavor and it makes one super delicious burger. It is juicy and in my opinion, not as heavy as a beef burger. Because the meat isn’t as strongly flavored as beef, you have so many options to flavor it however you’d like, which is fantastic if you want to create a really unique burger. If you’re really into burgers, like we are, I also made a Bacon Goat Cheese Burger with Pepper Jam last year and the year before that, an Italian Sausage and Peppers Burger. Do you notice a theme here? I like peppers on my burgers.
Pork Burger with Hatch Chile
I enjoy spicy food. I don’t want my face to melt off, but I like the tingle of “ooh, that’s got some kick”. I made these burgers for dinner and invited our neighbors over to partake. I used a habanero cheese in the middle of the burger for an extra bit of heat. Here’s how that went: I barely even registered that it was spicy. I could tell it had a little kick, but my mouth wasn’t burning. C and V both said it wasn’t too spicy to handle, but it was “on the verge” and T – he had to take it out. It was too much heat for him. So, the lesson here is: know your tolerance for spicy foods and have a backup for people who may not be able to handle the heat.
Pork Burger with Pickled Red Onion and Avocado
The key to an exceptional burger is obviously the burger itself, but what really sets it apart is the garnish. The toppings can make or break a burger. Pickled red onions are one of those staples we always had in the restaurant. They offer amazing flavor for very little effort, plus the color is incredible. The oniony bite is tempered by soaking them before putting them into the pickling liquid. They hang out in the fridge overnight and that’s all there is to it. It is a great garnish to have on hand for burgers all through the grilling season.
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What can I serve with this burger?
- Pimento Cheese Potato Salad
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Summer Grain Salad
- Rosé Sangria with Summer Fruits
- Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Burgers
- 1 lb ground pork
- 4 oz diced chiles *see note
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 4 - 1 oz slices of habanero or pepper jack cheese
- 4 Brioche Buns, sliced
For the Pickled Red Onions
- 1 extra large red onion, sliced into 1/4" rings
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice **see note
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, not the gallon jug of plain white vinegar!
- 1/4 cup water
- Provolone Cheese
- Sliced Avocado
- Grilled Chile Pepper Strips, for the chile heads only!
- Tomatillo Salsa, Salsa Verde
Make the pickled red onions
- The day before serving, make the pickled onions. Bring a kettle of water to boil. Place onion slices in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for 3 - 4 minutes, then drain.
- Combine the pickling spice, salt, sugar, vinegars and water in a glass jar and add onions. Put the lid on, give it a little shake and refrigerate overnight.
Make the Burgers
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until combined. Divide into 4 equal portions and flatten slightly. Place 1 slice of spicy cheese into the middle and fold pork around to cover the cheese. Flatten into patties and place on a lined sheet pan. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
- Heat grill to medium high (500°F) and grill for 4 - 5 minutes per side. Top with provolone cheese, remove from heat and let them rest for 5 minutes. Remember that you have molten cheese inside and a trip to the ER with a burn on the roof of your mouth isn't fun for anyone...
- Place burgers on buns and top with pickled onions, cilantro, avocado and salsa.
*Diced Chiles - I had canned hatch chiles, if you cannot find these at your market substitute a small can of diced green chiles from the Latin Food section.
**Pickling Spice: 1 teaspoon each: mustard seed, allspice berries, black peppercorn plus 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves garlic cut in half lengthwise, 1 dried chile pepper broken in half.
A word on the cheese - I stuffed a slice of Cabot Habanero cheese inside, but if you don't care for that much heat, downgrade to pepper jack or you could omit altogether.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 707 Saturated Fat: 19g Cholesterol: 225mg Sodium: 2311mg Carbohydrates: 47g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 4g Protein: 29g