Ridiculously versatile pork burgers
This recipe allows you to take advantage of the delicious combination of pork and apples
‘Pork burgers can be very versatiles.’
We’ve been inundated with apples over the past few months. The glorious summer ensured a bumper crop and there’s nothing nicer than a just-picked apple. Once it’s ripe you simply twist it from the tree. There have been plenty of windfalls too that have had to be baked into crumbles and tarts. A bruise can wreck the entire piece of fruit, so I usually deal with them quickly by making apple compote for serving at breakfast with granola or for dessert with custard. Stewing apples and freezing pots for serving with roast pork is another great way to use any bruised fruit. Pork and apple is a delicious combination. Fruits work so well with pork. I’m a little addicted to Sheridan’s chutney for cheese at the moment, which is full of plums and apples, and it tastes glorious in these burgers.
White pepper and pork are a match made in heaven. The pepper has just the right amount of heat to offset the sweetness of the pork. Paired with some fresh apple and savoury, meaty sage, these burgers are beautifully balanced. A fresh salad of fennel and thinly sliced apple is delicious with this.
This recipe can be made with turkey mince too. It’s a much drier meat so it really benefits from the apple. Rosemary can be used in place of the sage.
These burgers can be made smaller into little sliders if you can source half-size buns and are a very attractive food for kids when they see them piled high on a platter. This mix can also be made into meatballs and served with some buttered pappardelle pasta. These can be made ahead of time and frozen with a layer of greaseproof paper between each patty. All you have to do before cooking is defrost them.
I rarely buy pork mince, but when I do I ask my butcher, even at a supermarket counter, to mince it there and then. This guarantees a fresher mince and you will be able to see just what has gone into it.
When making this burger during the summer it’s fun to BBQ some pineapple rings alongside the burgers and serve them in the burger bun for a retro Hawaiian feel. Adding a little raw chorizo to the mix can bring amazing flavour too.
Jamie Oliver serves his pork burgers with blue cheese and pear, another delicious combination. Pork is lighter than beef so you can afford to be a little more indulgent with the toppings. Or take another approach and add freshly grated ginger and garlic to the pork mix and serve with Asian slaw and a Sriracha-spiked mayonnaise.
Go the whole hog and add a few tablespoons of Katie Sanderson’s White Mausu peanut rayu to the pork mince for an instant flavour hit of chewy garlic, sesame and chilli, and serve in a sesame bun. A gorgeous addition showing just how versatile these little pork patties can be.
Pork, sage and apple burgers
500g minced pork
1 tbsp finely chopped sage
85g crushed crackers
1 apple, roughly grated
Salt and white pepper
6 burger buns
To serve: potato wedges, salad leaves
Place the pork mince, crushed crackers, sage and apple in a bowl. Whisk the egg and add, along with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix well until even and form into six or 12 smaller patties. Make an indentation with your thumb in the middle of each burger so they are an even shape when cooked. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Grill or fry the burgers until completely cooked through, 4-6 minutes each side. Serve in warm burger buns with potato wedges and a salad.