I have an announcement: I’ve found heaven in a hamburger.
Two Aprils ago I traveled to the Finger Lakes district of New York to attend my friend Sarah’s bachelorette party. She loves pubby-type places, so on the first night of the weekend we found ourselves at Parker’s Grille in Seneca Falls, a small local chain of tap houses in the upstate region. It’s a sort of unassuming place with standard (but tasty!) pub fare – so nothing could have prepared me for just HOW delicious my entree was going to be.
“The Sweet ‘N Spicy Pork Burger: Bostrom Farms pork topped with sweet Jamaican pepper relish, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and onion rings on a brioche roll served with fries.”
You guys. This burger in this random restaurant in the middle of upstate New York served me the most delicious and unique burger I’d eaten in a LONG time. So I had to recreate it at home.
The pungent garlic, tingly jalapeño, and sweet red pepper jam creates the perfect contrasting flavor profile. Bacon adds a hint smokiness, and what you’re left with is a fantastically juicy burger. My recipes makes 4.
- 2 small yellow onions, sliced into thin rings
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1.5 cups flour
- Oil as needed
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 slices of smokey, good quality bacon
- 3 garlic cloves
- A few slices of raw or sautéed onion
- Handful of parsley leaves
- Half a jalapeño, chopped
- Sprinkle of paprika
- Sprinkle of onion powder
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 4 slices of pepper jack cheese
- 4 toasted brioche rolls
- 2 TB red pepper jam
Remove the ground pork from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperate in a mixing bowl.
Slice the onions and soak them in milk for 5 minutes. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet, then dredge the onions in a light coating of flour. Test the oil with a small piece of onion – if it sizzles, you can add your first batch of slices. Fry the onions on each side until golden brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel, salt, and set aside.
Add the bacon, garlic, parsley, and jalapeño to your food processor and pulse into a paste. Use your hands to completely combine the mixture with your ground pork and season with paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Evenly divide the pork into four quadrants and make a ball with each. Flatten them to about a half inch thick, then use your fingers to press a two-inch indent in the middle of each patty. (This ensures that when the patties cook down, they won’t “puff up” into spheres.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the patties to a heated skillet and pan-cook them until they form a crispy brown crust – about 2-3 minutes per side. Set them on a baking tray with a slice of pepper jack on top of each and place them in the oven for another 5 minutes. Use that time to toast the brioche rolls and smear a thin layer of red pepper jam on the bottom slices.
Serve with a side salad or spicy sweet potato fries!
Perfect combination of flavors.
I forgot to indent them the first time – definitely remember to do so or they’ll puff up!
Best “onion rings” I’ve ever had!