My father turned to me the other day and remarked, “I like anything made with pork.” No duh dad. With a name like Bauer, what do you expect? The man practically has sauerkraut juice running through his veins.
Here is a burger that does my daddy proud. We call it German not because they make them this way in Germany (who knows?) but because of the ingredients often found in many German dishes—caraway seeds, ground juniper berries, black pepper, sour cream, and of course, pork. Oh yes, and you top it with grainy mustard and sauerkraut. Any more German and this burger would be wearing lederhosen. This is one hellava burger, the kind that makes you close your eyes and smile while you eat it. The kind that makes you want to steal a bite from your dad’s plate when he isn’t looking and you ate yours too fast and finished before he did, but you don’t because you know better than to get between your dad and the food he loves. Enjoy.
German Pork Burger Recipe
Juniper berries are available whole in most good supermarkets, you'll need to crush them or grind them for this recipe. If you can't find juniper berries either omit them or substitute with 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds instead. It will be a different flavor, but still good. If you don't eat pork, you can use ground beef instead.
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp ground juniper berries (optional)
- 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Vegetable oil
- Sauerkraut and whole grain mustard to top burgers
- Burger buns
1 Using your hands, mix in the salt, ground juniper berries, caraway seeds, and pepper in with the ground pork. Mix in the chopped parsley and sour cream.
2 Form into patties, anywhere from 1/4 pound to 1/2 pound each.
3 Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the burger patties to the pan, and cook slowly, 4 to 5 minutes each side, until the interior of the burgers reaches a temperature of 155°F. Alternatively, cook on a grill on medium heat, 4-5 minutes each side, until the burgers are cooked through.
4 Remove the burgers from the heat and toast the buns on the pan or grill. Top each burger with a dollop of whole grain mustard and a sprinkling of sauerkraut.
Yield: Serves 4-6.