How about another twist to the all-american hambuger? You don’t even have to get a grill going because these Smoky Chili-Garlic Pork Burgers are done directly in a skillet. And no special skills are needed here, just a willingness to mix a few ingredients together and give one flip to each pattie. OK, and add a slice of provolone cheese if that’s the way you roll.
Speaking of rolling, the original recipe indicated to make four patties from one pound of pork. Well, we roll a bit bigger than that, making three burgers from a one-pound-plus package of meat. And yes, we did top them with a slice of provolone!
The secret to these burgers is the spicy-sweet flavor and a mild garlickiness from some Asian chili-garlic sauce and a little brown sugar mixed into the ground pork. Plus a smear of chili-garlic mayonnaise on the buns to complete the package. Pillow-soft, subtly sweet buns, such as brioche or potato rolls, are a particularly good match for the tender, juicy burgers.
Garnish with Bibb lettuce leaves, sliced heirloom tomato, and dill pickle chips. Our side of apple cranberry slaw was the perfect counterpoint to the smoky, spicy burgers. But be aware, these puppies pack some heat, so if you harbor a delicate palette, these may not be for you. They had our names written all over them!
Smoky Chili-Garlic Pork Burgers
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. chili-garlic sauce, divided
- 1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar, divided
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. neutral oil
- 3-4 hamburger buns, preferably brioche or potato rolls
- Bibb lettuce
- Large slicing tomato, preferably heirloom
- Sliced provolone cheese or your preference, (optional)
- In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- In a medium bowl, mix the pork, paprika, the remaining 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce, the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Form into 3 or 4 patties. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet (or a carbon steel skillet like us), heat the oil until shimmering. Add the patties, turn the heat down to medium and cook, flipping once, until well browned on both sides and the centers reach 160°F, 8 to 10 minutes total (perhaps a minute or two longer if you made 3 larger patties).
- If desired, add a slice of cheese while the patties are still in the pan, turn off the heat and cover for one minute to allow the cheese to melt.
- Serve in buns spread with the mayonnaise mixture and topped with lettuce, tomato and pickle chips.
Adapted from a recipe found on Milk Street