My parents joined us for dinner tonight and my dad loves a good burger! I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a while and just got some ground pork from Wallace Farms last weekend so I could give it a go. Well, my dad loved it! The flavor of this burger is inspired by Carolina pulled pork. The bacon adds some smoke while serving as a replacement for the crisp bits of roasted pork. In traditional South Carolina style, this burger is topped with a delicious honey mustard sauce. The sauce can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Get ready, this is a good one!
Adapted from Food and Wine Cookbook, 2004.
- nitrate-free bacon - 6 slices, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- small onion - 1, finely chopped
- unsalted, pastured butter - 3 Tbsp, melted
- raw honey - 1/4 cup
- Dijon mustard - 1/3 cup
- apple cider vinegar - 1/4 cup
- sea salt - to taste
- freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- sweet paprika - 1 tsp
- onion powder - 1/2 tsp
- garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
- celery seed - 1/4 tsp
- lean ground pork - 2 pounds, at room temperature
- liquid smoke - 1 tsp
- green cabbage - 1 cup shredded , about 1/4-1/3 head
- mixed salad greens - 1 large package
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook half of the bacon and the entire chopped onion in 1 Tbsp of melted butter until the onion turns light brown, 5-6 minutes. Add honey, mustard, and vinegar, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- In the meantime, in a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the remaining bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat grill to medium high.
- Combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, celery seed, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper in a small bowl.
- Place pork in a medium bowl. Add cooled bacon and liquid smoke. Use your hands to gently combine, without compacting too much. Form the meat into 6 patties and set them on a plate lined with plastic wrap. Sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of the patties, pressing gently with your fingers to help the spices adhere. Brush each patty with a little bit of the remaining melted butter.
- Grill burgers for about 6 minutes on each side or until just cooked through.
- To serve, divide the salad greens evenly among plates, top with a burger. Spoon cabbage on top of each burger and drizzle generously with honey mustard.