We all seem to be stuck on using beef for hamburgers so in the interest of individuality, we thought we'd do something different for our Labor Day barbecue yesterday. We cooked up burgers made from the other white meat instead.
The trouble with using ground pork in a burger is that today's hog farmers have bred the fat right out of the meat. Because it is so lean, it tends to dry out a lot which means one needs to add moisture to the meat.That was no problem for us because we live in the land of chipotles and green chiles and happen to love their flavor, along with some smooth melting, mild flavored Muenster cheese.
Rather than fire up the charcoal, the Big Guy cooked 'em in a grill pan in his outside kitchen. Once the burgers were nicely browned on both sides, he put the cheese slices on top and covered the pan with foil so the cheese melted and got all ooey gooey.
When the burgers came off the grill, they were dressed in thin slices of tomatillo and creamy avocado in keeping with our southwestern theme. If you're not into chipotles or green chiles, you could use grated raw zuchinni or even grated apple along with cheddar cheese. They'd be fabulous but you'll have to give them a new name. Right?
By the way, if you think our burgers looked a tad underdone you need to know the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a change in the "official" safe cooking temperatures of pork and it's been lowered to 145 from 160. Just be sure to use a meat thermometer to test your burgers and remember to let the meat rest for a few minutes before you dress 'em, because the internal temperature will go up a few degrees as the patties continue to cook. If you want to feel even safer about your ground meat, grind your own. That way you're sure the equipment you use is absolutely immaculate before you start the process.
We had a side of baked beans along with our burgers. I had seen a recipe for a version cooked with root beer of all things, and since I've a half bottle of Dr. Pepper left from our shredded pork last week, I thought I'd just substitute the Dr. Pepper for the root beer. I mean pop, is pop (soda) right? Well they might have looked good but in this case looks were definitely deceiving. They tasted kinda' weird. Doesn't it make you feel good to know I have my share of failures too?
Chipotle and Green Chile Pork Cheeseburgers (adapted from Gourmet Magazine via Epicurious.com)
1 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons minced Chipotle in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 roasted green chiles, minced (or 2 ounces from a can)
Salt and pepper
Muenster cheese slices
Toasted hamburger buns
1 large tomatillo, husked, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
Combine pork with chipotle, garlic, green chiles, salt and pepper. Be careful not to overwork meat or it will be tough. Form into patties and grill on hot oiled grill or in grill pan until patties reach the internal temperature of 145. Just prior to removing from grill, add cheese slices and cover loosely with foil to allow cheese to melt. Remove from grill and allow to rest covered for a few minutes. Dress toasted hamburger buns with mayonnaise. Add cooked pork patties and garnish will tomatillo and avocado. Download Chipotle and Green Chile Pork Cheeseburgers
A year ago - Fried Mac and Cheese