I haven’t created a recipe just for my family in quite a while. I love creating recipes for food companies (it’s how I get paid after all) but I don’t always want to be a walking advertisement. I have to say that my craving for a fall-flavored burger that was “out of the box” from a typical beef burger was a pretty decent idea that got my creative juices flowing again after a long summer break.
We’ve had some pretty stellar looking apples at our grocery store lately, so I started thinking about how I could incorporate them into a burger. Pork seemed like the right meat to use and it just became an explosion of apple flavor from there. There’s fresh grated Granny Smith apples in the burger mixture, the burgers are steam-cooked in hard apple cider and one of the burger toppings is apple butter.
One thing I learned in creating this colossal burger is it requires a toasted, sturdy bun to stand up to all the toppings. I also made my first GIF just for this post so you could see all the awesomeness going on in there… mayo, bacon (applewood smoked of course), fresh spinach, pork apple burger, melted Havarti cheese, pickled onions (HERE is the recipe for quick pickled onions I used) and apple butter!
For my family, I simply served some baked (from frozen) sweet potato fries as a side. And I had a chilly glass of Pinot Noir Rose to wash it down. Seriously, this pork apple burger will make you think you are eating at one of those BEST BURGER restaurants that every town seems to have. So, so good!
Pork Apple Burgers
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 Granny Smith apple cored, peeled and shredded
- 1 large egg
- 1 T. yellow mustard
- 1 T. maple syrup
- 2 t. liquid smoke
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. smoked paprika
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 bottle 6 oz. hard apple cider
- 4 slices applewood smoked bacon cooked crisp
- 4 slices deli Havarti or swiss cheese
- apple butter
- pickled onions
- 4 sturdy burger buns toasted
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, apple, mustard, maple, liquid smoke, salt, paprika and pepper. Add the ground pork and mix with your hands. Add the Panko bread crumbs and keep kneading until well mixed.
- Form the meat into four burgers.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until starting to brown on the second side. Add the hard cider to the pan and cook until all the cider has evaporated.
- Check the burgers with a meat thermometer to make sure they've reached temperature (160 degrees). If not keep cooking a little longer.
- Serve each burger on a toasted bun with a slice of applewood smoked bacon, mayonnaise, fresh spinach, melted Havarti cheese, pickled onions and apple butter.