Tuesday, September 23, 2014

16 Burgers of Summer: Latin Burger

Good evening everyone! We missed our official cutoff by a day – but hey, it’s our blog, so who cares!? I, of course, am speaking in regards to our burgers of summer series where from May through…well, today, we featured a brand new burger recipe every week. We’ve tried everything from the standard cheeseburger to making turkey burgers a dish they deserve. We wrap things up today with the most ambitious burger recipe to date. The grilled pork Latin burger. This baby is so packed full of spices I almost didn’t give it a shot. As our series drew to a close I thought “why not?” and decided to close out the feature with the most unique burger yet. The results? Well, we’ll get there.

The Recipe: Grilled Pork Latin Burger
Original Recipe Adapted From: Food Network: Our Favorite Meals

What You’ll Need:
1 Pound Ground Pork
3 Garlic Cloves (Chopped)
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Tablespoon Ground Ancho Chile Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Ground Allspice
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Begin by combining all of the spices in a medium bowl (Yes, all) mix until well blended, then add the ground pork to the bowl and use your hands to work the pork and spices together until everything is well blended. There’s a lot of spice in this mixture, so don’t be alarmed if you only see a bit of actual pink pork when you’re done. There’s a lot to blend it and not a lot of room to get it done.

As we’ve done with nearly every burger recipe before, place the patties on a plate and store it in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. That will allow the patties to set up a bit before moving to the grill.

Speaking of the grill, preheat it to 500 degrees, clean the grates and then turn off one side of the grill. Lower the other side to medium (300 degrees). The 300 degree side is the side we’ll be using.

Place the patties on the grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until the burgers have browned nicely and the pork is evenly cooked through. If you’d like, check the center of the pork for 165 degrees (safe temperature for all ground meats, per the FDA) with an instant read thermometer.

To this point, we’ve followed the recipe very close – however, we’re about to go off the rails here. The original dish calls for jack cheese to top these burgers. BUT, as you’re cooking them and smell the spices, adding cheese just doesn’t seem to fit. As cinnamon, allspice and clove filled the air, my stomach actually churned at the notion of trying to add cheese to that blend. So, I bailed and turned to plan B.

In this case, B stood for BBQ sauce.

My theory was these intense spices needed a sweeter offset – thus BBQ sauce would be the perfect companion. I spread a thin layer of our favorite BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays) on the bottom of a bakery fresh bun and topped with the burger. You can add other fixings as you see fit, but I opted to leave the burger as it stood.

The Results:

This is one intense burger. Allspice, cinnamon, ancho chile powder, cloves – there’s a lot of flavor competing for center stage with this dish and, served on its own, it’s almost too much. The BBQ sauce, however, was the savior of the dish. After trying a bit of the burger without the sauce, I moved on to eating it with the sauce and was amazed at the change. The sweet yet spicy sauce completely mellowed the rest of the spices and pulled all of the flavors into one cohesive unit. The end result was a perfectly OK burger. Of the 16 we tried, I think this one finishes 16th. That’s not to say it’s a BAD dish, there’s just a lot of spice that goes towards this dish and I don’t know that it’s really worth all the effort.

That’s all we have for you this evening, but we’ve got a jam PACKED week coming up. I have a new recipe to debut later in the week (it’s NOT a burger) that looks back to classic French cuisine. Maggie has a new dish featuring a brand new take with pork chops. I’ll follow that with ANOTHER new recipe (likely on Friday) and we’ll close out the week with a product review and maybe even a pumpkin cupcake recipe.

We’ve been busy this summer, so we’ve got a bit of a backlog to clean out, but rest assured we’ve still got lots of cooking to share. Until next time,


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