Juicy beef and pork burgers, filled with umami flavours and breaks all the rules of how you were told a hamburger should be made.
Burgers are simple to make, and can satisfy all sorts of cravings but let's be honest, there are many ways to enjoy it and everybody has a preference. There's no such thing as a perfect burger because everyone's idea of perfection is different. So it's always good to have options right? Let's go through the experiments I have been tinkering with and see if we can get your perfect burger! Traditionalist be warned, I have butchered every burger rule out there. 😀
Some enjoy their burger with a bit of spice, some like it plain - neither is bad, or wrong as long as you enjoy it. 🙂
Pork and beef? Yes! One of the best burgers I ever ate were pork burgers! So I simply had to combine this with beef to see how that turned out. Result? Very juicy beef and pork burgers. You don't need to even add fat! or use fattier cuts of meat! I have tried using 50% beef/50% pork as well as 70% beef/30% pork both are equally fantastic.
Mustard mixed into the beef and pork burgers and not as topping? Yup! When I ate at the Burger Priest I really enjoyed the Jarge-style burger, there's something about searing mustard into meat that gives it a caramelized flavour. It's a tough flavour to describe but there's nothing like it! You can brush it on the burger before searing it or put it right in!
I used powdered onion and garlic powder simply because I don't like biting into chunks of onions and garlic in my burger.
You can omit spices or add spices to your preference. If you enjoy a heavier spiced burger go nuts - dill is fantastic in burgers! If you enjoy the flavour of just the meat then go light on the spice.
One thing you cannot substitute and I highly recommend not omitting is the miso. Instead of adding salt, I used miso instead which also gives it that nice umami flavour. This is the secret ingredient! 🙂
Neat Tidbit : Want a burger that won't fall apart during cooking?
I know a traditionalist would kill me for saying this but I'm going to say it anyways because it's always nice to have options 😛 "You can salt your burger meats ahead of time!" When salt is mixed into the meat, it actually breaks down the proteins and creates a burger that is less likely to fall apart during cooking.
I like my burger with a bit of a bouncy give. I like to feel that chew when I bite into a burger and I know most people enjoy a more crumbly melt in your mouth burger but I find that too soft. So I experimented with the dumpling meat method to give my burger a bit of a chew.
The dumpling method is to over mix the meat, mix it in one direction for a long period of time and you get a tougher and bouncier textured meat. (you must think I'm crazy because every single recipe out there tells you never to over work your meat, and I am doing the complete opposite right? I know I thought I was insane too.) I used a stand mixer and mixed it for about 5 minutes on medium speed.
The results were beef and pork burgers with a bit of a give that held together very well. It didn't fall apart and it wasn't tough or dry. We can thank the pork for that.
Adding an egg to my beef and pork burgers gave it the smooth buttery texture. Feel free to omit the egg, as this will not change the flavour of the burger.
My Findings in Short:
Stand Mixer - Firmer textured burger, with a bouncier texture. Burgers hold very well together. Stay away from this if you want a burger that will fall apart in your mouth.
Manually Mix by Hand - Softer burger and slightly crumblier texture.
Adding an Egg - Smoother buttery textured burger.
No Egg - Slightly crumblier textured burger.
Salt - If you mix the salt into the meat and let it sit for 15-30 minutes ahead of time, it makes it more tacky and less likely to break apart during cooking.
For this beef and pork burger recipe, all ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. If miso is harder to find, than you can usually find it at your local Asian grocery store or specialty food stores.
For the meat, we used extra lean beef and medium fat pork so that the fattiness from the pork gave the beef a bit more juiciness.. Do not use extra lean pork. This will produce a very dry and tough burger. The pork should be somewhat fatty to give the burger that juiciness. That being said, you can definitely use a higher fat beef as well - it will only add more flavor 🙂
I find that keeping the toppings simple is best, however you can fancy it up with caramelized onions and mushrooms or fancy mustards and mayo if that's what you are feeling that day! 🙂
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
These beef and pork burgers are made on a cast iron pan skillet. I found that the cast iron holds a nice heat to give it that nice browning. You can use a non stick pan as well but you may need to turn the heat up higher. I have not tried this on a BBQ yet.
This may sound a bit crazy but, we are going to steam the beef and pork burgers mid point so that the meat gets cooked all the way through. I adapted this technique by watching diners cook burgers. They use a lid, and squirt a bit of water under the lid as well!
This also helps melt the cheese but most imporantly helps the burger cook more evenly! When you omit the steaming, I found that outside of the burgers were cooked well done but the middle was always 'softer' from not being cooked as hot all the way through. Steaming fixed this problem and gave the burger a nice even texture all the way through.
Flippy Flip Flip!
To get that nice brown crust, you want to touch the burgers as little as possible. You only need to flip the burger once - 2 times max.
To prevent your burgers from curling up, poke a hole in the middle! 🙂
Alright, let's do this! (Use the notes above to adjust the flavour and texture of the beef and pork burger to your preference.) The recipe below will show you the method to get a juicy, burger with a bit of a bounce.
Who wants a burger? 🙂
Umami Beef & Pork Burgers
- In a bowl, combine the beef, pork, mustard, egg (optional) Worcestershire sauce, miso, garlic powder and onion powder and mix.
- Take approximately ½-3/4 cup of meat and shape it until it is approximately 1cm thick. (Don’t worry, when the meat cooks it get thicker as it shrinks inwards) Poke a hole in the middle so that the burger keeps it shape and doesn’t curl up during the cooking process.
- Use small pieces of parchment paper between the burgers to stack them up until you ready to cook them.
- Let the patties sit for 30 minutes
- In a cast iron pan, set the stove to medium heat and add a bit of oil. Wait until the pan is very hot.
- Add in the burger and let it sear for 1-2 minutes. Don’t touch it or flip it!
- Add ¼ cup of water to the pan and quickly put a lid over it and let it steam. (Careful, the steam is hot!) Let it cook for about 2 minutes, or until the water has evaporated away
- Remove the lid and flip the burger and let it cook for another 2 minutes to brown the other side.
- At this point, if you are adding cheese to your burger put it on now and put the lid over it for another 30 seconds or until the cheese has melted
- Serve it on a bun and some toppings and enjoy!!
- I have tested this recipe with extra lean pork and I do not recommend using it. The extra lean pork did not have enough fat to make this burger moist and juicy and it turned out very dry and tough in texture.
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