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Monday, January 26, 2015

Tom and Sol's Favorite Burger

We've been on a bit of a Bittman kick while Betsy has been enjoying her copy of his latest cookbook. Some others of the family must have Bittman on our minds, too. Just a few days before Christmas, Tom and Sol treated Ty, Andrea, Leon, and me to these burgers in Amsterdam. They are juicy, flavorful, and beautiful, especially when garnished with sauteed tri-color peppers and fennel. Sol likes to grill up a few jalapenos, too.


Tom and Sol's Favorite Burger: Pork-Fennel Burger

Source: Mark Bittman
Serves: 8

1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into large chunks
3-4 cloves garlic
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, with some of the fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 T fennel seeds
1 teas caraway seeds, optional
1 teas salt
1/2 teas pepper, or more to taste

garnishes: orange slices, chopped olives, chopped parsley, or sliced fennel and peppers sauteed in olive oil

Place fennel and garlic into a food processor and pulse until just chopped; place in a large bowl. If any of the pork cubes are mostly fat, place those in the processor and run the machine until the fat is just chopped. Working in batches, process the remaining meat with seeds, salt and pepper, until meat is just chopped (be careful not to over-process). Add to the bowl and mix well. Shape mixture into 8 patties.

To broil or grill, the heat should be medium high and the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Cook the patties about 5 minutes on each side, turning once and then again if necessary, about 8-10 minutes total. On the stovetop, heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat (know your stove and adjust accordingly) and add patties; cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes then rotate them so they brown evenly. When browned, turn over. Total cooking time is about 10 minutes. The patties can remain slightly pink in the center.

Garnish and serve on buns, or not.
For more on grinding your own meat for a variety of burgers, see this article by Mark Bittman


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