Porky Burgers

Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Michael Symon

B Spot Burgers and Lola Bistro


Nothing says barbecue season like a charcoal-grilled burger. Chef Michael Symon doubles up on barbecue flavor by layering grilled pork burgers with chile-spiced pulled pork. A topping of melted Gruyere cheese and pickled onions completes the flavor profile.


Pulled pork
1 1/2 lb. bone-in pork shoulder blade roast
¼ cup ancho chile powder
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds, toasted
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seed, toasted
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
24 oz. Mexican beer
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 small onion, sliced, separated into rings
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Porky burgers
3 cups pulled pork in juices (recipe above)
2 lb. lean ground pork, 96% lean
1/2 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. salt
6 potato or brioche burger buns
6 slices gruyere cheese (1/2-oz. each)
1/2 cup pickled red onions or thinly sliced raw red onion, separated into rings
1/2 cup cilantro leaves


1. Prepare pulled pork: Combine ancho chile powder, paprika, coriander, cumin and salt in small bowl; set aside.
2. Cut 2 large pieces of plastic wrap; place on work surface in cross position. Place roast on top in center. Rub 2 tsp. of oil on top; spoon and pat on spice mixture. Tightly wrap pork in plastic wrap; refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 300 F. Add 1 tbsp. oil to 6-qt. heavy Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat. Unwrap roast and place in hot oil. Cook on each side for 1 to 2 min. or until spices brown and appear slightly dry. Transfer roast to plate. Remove Dutch oven from heat.
4. Slowly pour in beer, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Add water, vinegar, chipotles, onion and garlic. Return to heat and bring to gentle boil.
5. Add roast to hot liquid. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until pork is fork tender.
6. Transfer pork to a cutting board; cool slightly. Meanwhile, pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer; reserve 1 1/2 cups. Discard remaining liquid and solids. Shred meat using 2 forks; transfer to container. Add 1½ cups reserved liquid. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use for up to 2 days.

7. Prepare burgers: Form ground pork into 6 patties, each 1/2-inch thick; season both sides with salt and pepper.
8. Preheat grill to medium. Place pulled pork in pot and place in corner to keep warm. Place patties on grill directly over heat. Grill, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until pork reaches 160 F. internal temperature. Flip patties halfway through grilling. Meanwhile, toast buns on grill.
9. Top pork patties with cheese. Cover grill; grill for 30 seconds or until cheese is melted.
10. Place burgers on bun bottoms. Using a slotted spoon, spoon pulled pork on top of burgers. Top with onions, cilantro and bun tops.

Photo courtesy of National Pork Board

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