Pork & Fennel Burgers with Thyme Mayo
Originally featured on Big Girls, Small Kitchen
If you live off-campus or socialize with fraternities, burgers pretty much become their own food group. If you live in a dorm, you might not have a kitchen with any decent equipment, but you very well might have a grill on your porch. These burgers will set you apart from the pre-formed patties of your college brethren. Simply buy ground pork instead of the usual beef, and add minced fennel and garlic, and you will be the most popular grill master around.
3.5 lb ground pork*
1 stalk fennel, minced (about a cup)*
1/2 yellow onion, minced (about half a cup)*
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Lots of fresh pepper
Thyme Mayo (recipe below)
12 to 14 English muffins, toasted, preferably on the grill
*Tip: if your market does not have ground pork, buy the pork butt itself. Ask your butcher to cut it into 1-inch chunks. Then process the cubes in your mini prep or food processor. You can also use the processor to chop up the fennel, onion, and garlic–it’s fine if they’re almost like a paste.
To make the burgers, combine the ground meat, onion, fennel, salt, and as much fresh pepper as you can grind before your hands get paralyzed. Shape the burgers into 12-14 patties. (They should have a diameter of 5-6″ and be 1 1/2″ thick.)
Grill on a medium-high fire, with the grate set about five inches from the flames. Cook for 5-6 minutes per side, until the burgers are firm, slightly smaller than when you started, and have just the slightest trace of pink in the inside. Push the burgers to the outside of the grill, away from the flame, and grill the English muffins.
You can also broil the burgers for the same amount of time in the oven. Or you can cook them in a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side.
Arrange the burgers on a platter, along with the English muffins. Set out the Thyme Mayo and the Red Cabbage Crunch, and allow guests to assemble their burgers.