Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grilling is for Girls: REAL SIMPLE Spiced Pork Burger with Grilled Peppers and Provolone

When Jared got accepted to medical school back in May, I realized that I would have to take on a much larger share of the cooking for the next four to eight (or twenty) years.  Generally Jared makes us breakfast and dinner and I'm in charge of packing lunches and snacks.
While my skills have improved significantly over the first four years of our marriage, I still need recipes that are fun, fast, and feasible.  The June issue of Real Simple magazine featured a spread on six different drool-worthy burgers and so I decided that when I took on the cooking for our family this year, I would try one new burger each week until we'd had all six.
Week One: Spiced Pork Burger #teammatson Style
Last night, Jared chipped in by showing my how to fire up our little grill without blowing anything up or lighting the porch on fire.  Most of you may find this sort of thing easy/intuitive, but here are the steps he went through with me:
Uncover grill.
Twist off propane cap.
Screw propane canister into grill.
Push grill knob down and turn so it no longer says "off."
Push red button until grill ignite (small flame which should be short lived).
Then, cover grill to let it heat.  In my case I needed medium high.  You can clean the grill with a wire brush when hot but ours was pretty clean to begin with. 
I always start cooking by putting all my ingredients out together, and then putting them away as I finish using them.  This helps me avoid forgetting anything important.
The recipe called for ground pork, which I couldn't find at Trader Joe's, so I went with ground turkey patties.  In hindsight, I would not get the meat in patties as you end up mixing it with the spices and reforming patties later anyhow.
First step was to cut up the peppers and onion and mix with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Spray (CAREFULLY) the grill with olive oil and then grill the veggies (5-7 minutes for the peppers, 12+ for the onions), turning occasionally.
While the veggies were grilling, I worked on the meat.  You mix the ground meat with fennel seed, chopped garlic, and red pepper flakes.  I had frozen the patties earlier in the week and then thawed to grill.  This seemed to cause difficulty in getting the patties to bind, so Jared suggested I use a raw egg. 
NOTE: you are supposed to mix the egg before mixing it in with the meat...I didn't do this and so it didn't help much.  The patties sank into the grill which made them hard to flip and then the grill was a bear to clean later.
Also, I found out you basically always cover the grill while grilling.  I left the cover off for a while and wondered why the patties were cooking so slowly.
After flipping, add the provolone and grill the hamburger buns.  This recipe called for regular sesame seed buns, but we went with brioche buns to make it more fun.
I scraped the burned skin off the peppers, and when the burgers were done we just had to assemble the different pieces!
We paired our burgers with a Belgian Tripel ale.  So yummy!
You tell me: Next week I'm thinking Ginger-Scallion Salmon Burgers or the Lamb Burgers with Tangy Fennel Slaw.  Which would you choose?


  1. That looks so good. I would destroy that except the beer but wow. Nice job. And that picture on top you two are a great looking couple. Im glad to have come across you both and love talking to you guys on the web.

    1. Aw, thanks! We have loved meeting you, too. Someday we will have to meet up with you and the whole clan!


Thanks for adding your two cents to The (Megha) Mix!