Monday, August 2, 2010

Pork Burgers

Makes 8

3-4 tablespoons fat—lard, ghee (clarified butter) or tallow (butter will burn)

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 pounds ground pork

1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1-1/2 teaspoons ground sage

Place one tablespoon fat in a large cast iron or other heavy pan and heat pan over medium heat.

Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and sweet (10-12 minutes).

Meanwhile, using hands, gently mix the remaining salt, pepper and sage into the ground pork. Return pork to refrigerator until onions are cooked.

Remove onions from heat and scrape them into the pork mixture. Leave pan on the stove over low heat.

Allow onions to cool a little, then gently mix them in using your hands.

If necessary (if pan looks dry), add another tablespoon of fat to pan and increase the heat to medium high.

Shape the mixture into eight patties, and fry until crispy brown outside and until no more pink shows inside, 4-6 minutes per side.

The mixture will be very soft before frying. You can shape the patties and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and chill the patties for about 10 minutes in the fridge or freezer before frying. Not necessary, but makes it a little easier to handle.

Recipe from Rheba Kelley, Silver Spring, MD

Pork 'n Cabbage

6-8 servings

4 tablespoons fat (lard, ghee [clarified butter] or tallow; butter will burn)

1 large onion, in 1/4 dice

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt

2 pounds ground pork

1 medium head cabbage, finely sliced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme or 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme

Add two tablespoons fat to a large, heavy pot (6” sides) or cast iron dutch oven and heat over medium heat.

Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and sauté for 8-12 minutes until they are soft and sweet.

Add the ground pork and break it up, cooking until it is no longer pink.

Add the remaining fat, the cabbage, pepper, dried thyme (add fresh thyme as directed below) and the remaining sea salt and mix well.

Cover pot and cook for 10-15 minutes, until cabbage is tender, stirring three or four times. Add fresh thyme when cabbage begins to become transluscent.

Taste and add more salt, pepper and more thyme if necessary.

Submitted by Rheba Kelley -Silver Spring, MD

Mexican Shredded Beef


I 5lb beef shank

2 medium onions coarsely shopped

5-8 garlic cloves coarsely chopped



Chili powder

Dried or fresh oregano

Dried or fresh thyme

1 jalapeño

1 green or red cayenne pepper

Few sprigs Rosemary

Salt and pepper

12 oz beer

2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes


Salt and pepper the shank

Put on high heated grill or cast iron skillet-ten minutes each side


Preheat oven to 225F

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat

Sauté onion and garlic with olive oil until translucent

Add spices and cook for a few minutes

Add fresh jalapeno and cayenne (I chopped the jalapeno and put the cayenne in whole so I could remove the cayenne later—just depends how hot you want it) and the cook for another minute

Add beer and simmer down sauce until you’ve cooked the alcohol out of the beer

Add tomatoes and simmer for a few more minutes

Remove seared shank from grill or skillet and add to Dutch oven

Smother shank in sauce and throw a few sprigs of rosemary on top

Cover and put in 225F oven for 12 hours (ish)-timing is very forgiving—I let it cook while I slept overnight

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly

Take shank out of the pot and set aside (make sure to get any large pieces of meat that may have fallen off into the sauce out)

Skim fat off the remaining sauce left in the Dutch oven and remove rosemary sprigs and the whole cayenne pepper

Bring sauce up to a boil on the stove top and simmer until reduced and thick.

Puree (I used a hand held immersion blender)

Shred all the beef from the shank and put into a large bowl. Add some of the reduced sauce to the shredded beef—enough to bind all of it together and keep it moist. SERVE!

FYI—I had A LOT of sauce left over which I froze in a couple of smaller containers. This sauce is so flavorful that I’ve used it for tons of things -- adding it to left over roast chicken and sticking that in a flour tortilla…I’ve even used it on grilled pizza with sliced jalapenos, grilled green tomatoes, white cheddar cheese with a couple of fresh cracked eggs on top (which by the way is SO good).

Submitted by Sally A.
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