My experience living in Brazil inspired this pork burger. It deconstructs feijoada, the Brazilian national dish of black beans and assorted meats, a simple description of a dish that can take days to prepare. Build your own: For the best flavor, cook the black beans yourself. And while you are at it, make extra. Scoop out 2 cups worth, drain them well, and use them for the Southwestern Bean Burger on page 93 of the book. You can, of course, use canned beans.
- 3 cups broth such as vegetable broth or chicken stock or water
- 2/3 cup dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped yellow onion
- 1 strip (about 1 ounce) bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 bay leaf
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 2 pounds coarsely ground pork butt, chilled
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt
- 4 soft buns, preferably slightly sweet and milky, such as Portuguese bread
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion such as Maui, thinly sliced
and separated into rings
- Small handful cilantro leaves
- 1 large orange, peeled, and sliced into rounds
- About 1 cup Brazilian Pickled Vegetables
- 1 handful sprouts or baby salad mix (optional)
To make the beans: In a medium saucepan, combine the broth, beans, onion, bacon, celery, orange zest, thyme, garlic, ginger, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the beans are tender and you have a thick, stew-like consistency, about 1 hour. Discard the bay leaf. Mash the beans lightly with a potato masher just to break them up. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
To make the burgers: In a small, dry pan, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium-low heat until they are fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Pour onto a small plate to cool, and then grind to a powder.
Using your hands, gently knead the meat in a large bowl together with the ground coriander and cumin, ginger, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and jalapeño. Handling lightly to keep the texture light and juicy, divide the meat into 4 evenly sized patties about 1 inch thick. The burgers can be shaped and refrigerated, covered, for several hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat until very hot or build a medium-hot fire in a barbecue. Generously season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
Cook the burgers in the skillet, turning once or twice, for about 7 minutes on each side for medium. Do not press down on the patties. With a large spoon, baste the burgers several times with the fat in the pan. (You can also preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and cook the burgers on top of the stove until they are brown on both sides, and then finish them in the oven.) To grill the burgers, oil the grate, arrange the patties on it, and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium.
While the burgers cook, toast the buns in a toaster oven or under the broiler, about 5 inches from the heat, until lightly toasted. Or toast them on the outer perimeter of the grill rack.
To build the burgers, moisten the bun bottoms with a spoonful of beans, then add a few onion rings and a few cilantro leaves. Add the burgers, and then arrange the orange slices on top. Add a tuft of sprouts, if using. Cover with the bun tops. Serve with small bowls of the pickled vegetables and the beans on each plate.
Build Your Own Ultimate Burgers
- by Hubert Keller with Penelope Wisner
- Wiley 2009
- Hardcover; $22.95; 180 pages
- ISBN-10: 0470187670
- ISBN-13: 978-0-470-18767-81
- Recipe reprinted by permission.
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This page created June 2009