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Pork Burgers with Sauerkraut and Gruyère

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Serves 4

  • by Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

These burgers are a cross between a patty melt and a Reuben. For the best flavor, avoid canned sauerkraut and look for the bagged version in the supermarket meat case.

 

  • 1/2 lb. bacon (about 9 slices)
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 slices Gruyère
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • Dijon mustard to taste
  • 8 slices seeded or marble rye bread, toasted

Cook the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board with a slotted spoon, let cool slightly, and chop into small pieces. Drain all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the skillet.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the bacon, ground pork, caraway seeds, and nutmeg with your hands. Form into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Return the skillet to medium heat. When the bacon fat is hot, add the burgers and cook for 6 minutes. Flip the burgers, cover the skillet, and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a burger registers 160°F for well done, about 5 minutes more. Turn off the heat, top each with a slice of the cheese, cover, and let sit until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, heat the sauerkraut in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm.

Spread mustard on each slice of rye toast. Serve the burgers between the toast, topped with the sauerkraut.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with German Potato Salad or Apple & Fennel Slaw on the side.
 

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): 31; Fat Calories (kcal): 280; Saturated Fat (g): 13; Protein (g): 42; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 35; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): 1440; Cholesterol (mg): 120; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

These are an easy and tasty alternative to hamburgers. I find turkey burgers a little dry and dull. But the richness of the pork plus the extra flavor added by the bacon (though the final burger does not taste like bacon thanks to the caraway and nutmeg) made these very satisfying.The thin layer of gruyere,( I used Swiss) is just enough. II had a particularly good artisanal sauerkraut made at a local farm on hand and also some very good rolls from a good bakery rather than the usual cottony rolls. I can get sustainable pork so these burgers will become a staple.

Made these over the Memorial Day weekend, and used local, pasture-raised pork and some fabulous Apple wood smoked bacon. Just incredible. A really nice change over beef burgers. Doubled the recipe, (but not the caraway), and my son had leftovers as a panini for breakfast!

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