German Pork Burger

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

  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

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.

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Showing 4 of 32 Comments

  • Shanna

    Do you have any recipes for homemade sauerkraut? I despise the sauerkraut in a bag that you buy at the grocery store! (I can’t even stand the smell lol!) The hubby and I are stationed in GA and we have a authentic German restaurant down here, and they make their own using Red Cabbage! I had to try it, even though I figured I’d be grossed out, and to my surprise it was Amazing, I couldn’t stop eating it!
    P.S. Love the site! Visit it often!!
    P.S.S. Love the comment about your dad, we’re from MN also! Too Funny!

    Hi Shanna, don’t have one yet, but you might want to check out Marc of No Recipes Homemade sauerkraut. By the way, if you can find it, Bubbies makes a terrific sauerkraut. You’ll find it jarred and in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. ~Elise

  • Marie-Sophie

    :-D No, we don’t make them that way in Germany – but it sounds really good!! I am pretty sure my boyfriend is going to be in love with your blog when I make this for him *g*
    Hi from Mainz, Germany!!

  • Stefanie

    Hi there, so – I am German and I can assure you that I never ever came around such a thing as Sauerkraut on a burger. haha! Sounds good, though!

  • Janina


    First of all, this looks good (like all of your recipes)!

    I’m German and I love your recipes, so I thought, I’d give you a little feedback on burgers in Germany: In general, we don’t do burger, that’s American food for us. (we appreciate them anyway ;) ) we do however eat patties (“buletten” or “frikadellen” or “fleischkirchle”) made of ground meat and eat them with potato salad or French fries or put them into rolls (that’s as close as you can get to a burger in traditional German food). I make them form a mixture of ground pork and beef and season with salt, pepper, maybe a little chili and onion bits that I browned in a pan. Some people add parsley when they are feeling fancy. We normally add breadcrumbs and an egg to lighten the texture and make the patty a bit softer. The patties are often less flat than the version you show in the photo as they are not intended to be eaten between a bun. Caraway seeds and juniper are popular spices in Germany, but in my family, we do not use them in a patty. No sauerkraut neither (Here, Sauerkraut is a winter food that is cooked with white wine, caraway seeds, juniper berries and bay leafs, and served with preserved meats such as smoked and salted pork or sausages and boiled potatoes or homemade schupfnudeln (, depending on the region) )

    Even if it is not really German food, I hope you and your family enjoyed the “German” burgers anyway! Maybe I will try your version some day; you might be able to change my mind ;)

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