I met Iowa hog farmer Paul Willis at the Fancy Food Show in January and naturally our conversation turned to food and recipes. “Have you ever had a pork burger?,” Paul asked, eyes bright. Upon hearing my response in the negative, Paul added, “You have to try my wife Phyllis’ pork burgers. They’re amazing.” Thinking of burgers made out of pork, I can’t say I was convinced, even when he continued, “Everyone in Iowa eats pork burgers.” But when Paul pointed out his wife’s recipe in the Niman Ranch Cookbook I saw the light. These burgers aren’t hamburgers made out of ground pork. They are more like large, flattened Swedish meatballs. Very tasty. Thank you Paul and Niman Ranch, and thank you Phyllis for a fabulous recipe.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 16 saltine crackers, crumbled
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- Dijon mustard for serving
1 Using your hands to combine, mix together the pork, saltines, onion, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
2 Lightly brush a large, nonstick frying pan with vegetable oil. Heat the pan on medium high. Divide the pork mixture into 8 equal portions. Working in batches, drop each portion into the hot pan, spacing them as not to crowd the pan. Pat them down with the back of a spoon to form them into patties. Cook the patties, turning once, for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Serve the pork burgers with Dijon mustard.