Making homemade hamburgers is easy. Although many people reach for the ground beef, you can also use ground pork to make flavorful burgers. Swap the pork for turkey or beef if you prefer. The following recipe blends the pork with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme, to make a simple yet delicious patty. The burgers are mildly seasoned and very tasty with the flavor of the pork, so you would not need to add much to round them out. Perhaps you want to add some lettuce leaves or tomato slices. Prepare these before you put the patties on the grill, so everything is ready to assemble as soon as the burgers are cooked.
Slices of onion are also good or some of your favorite kind of cheese. Ketchup or mayonnaise are also good, or you might like to combine ¼ cup each of grainy mustard and whole berry cranberry sauce for a tangy, sweet and sour dressing which is amazing with pork. Part of the fun of making your own hamburgers is deciding what to have with them. If you are feeding a crowd it is a good idea to offer the condiments and accompaniments buffet-style so people can add their own, according to what they want. Find out who wants cheese or onion though because you can grill those with the burgers, either having the onion on the barbeque next to the burger or adding the cheese on top of the patty a couple minutes before the end of the cooking time.
When using beef to make burgers people can choose any doneness from rare to well done, but pork is a bit different and should be cooked to 160 degrees F. Check the doneness using a digital thermometer to make sure they are cooked properly. Rare pork is not safe to eat so ensure the patties are properly cooked so nobody ends up with a sore belly. Insert the digital thermometer sideways through the patty to reach the center so you do not have a hole through the top. These thermometers are accurate, so if you do not already have one then it is worth investing in one.
The thinner you make the patties the quicker they will cook, but the more delicate they will become. It is best to make them slightly thinner in the center because that takes the longest time to cook. Aim for about ¾ inch thickness all over and ½ inch in the center. The exact cooking time depends on more than the thickness of the burgers though. It also depends on the heat of the barbeque, the ingredients in the patties and more, so you will need that digital thermometer to double-check the doneness.
Serve these with potato salad or fries if you wish, or perhaps a tossed salad. Pork hamburgers can be flavored however you wish, so if you want to adapt the original recipe and change the flavorings you can. Some people like to add minced green onion and cilantro for a Thai flavor, or a pinch of curry powder for an Indian taste. Feel free to experiment to get the burgers the way you want them. You can also add some chili flakes or hot sauce if you want a bit of a kick.
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 burger buns, to serve
- Lettuce, onion, tomato slices, ketchup, mayonnaise or other condiments, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the barbeque.
- Crack or grind the peppercorns and mix them with the pork, garlic, salt and thyme.
- Shape 4 patties and make them thinner in the center so they will cook evenly.
- Cook for 5 minutes per side or until done the way you like them.
- The burgers should be 160 degrees F in the center.
- Serve between the burger bun halves, adding your preferred salad and condiments.
Homemade hamburgers offer so much more than the store-bought kind, both in terms of aroma, flavor and overall quality. Enjoy the charming flavor of these wonderful pork hamburgers in buns, and add some salad and dressing to finish them off. Pork needs to be cooked thoroughly and you should not serve it medium-rare, although of course that is fine for beef patties. See how attractive the grill-marks are in the photo. Cook the patties directly over the flame for a wonderful smoky flavor, and rotate them 90 degrees if you have lines instead of squares on your grill, to get the crisscross effect.
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