My Epic Got To Be NC Burger
Feel free to pick and choose the components you make for this burger. You can also leave the patty off entirely, have the main "filling" be the pulled pork and enjoy an Epic Sloppy Joe!
Please note that many of the component recipes make more than what you'll need for the burgers. I'm very sorry you'll have extra pulled pork and bacon, onion and Cheerwine jam. Whatever shall you do?
- 3/4 pound your favorite bacon
- 2 large sweet onions , diced
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 Tablespoon savory seasoning mix , such as Good Rub Gravitas
- 1/2 can Cheerwine
- apple cider vinegar , as needed
- 3 pounds fatty pork shoulder
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 12 oz can Cheerwine
- 1 cup tomato-based barbecue sauce , such as Jim's Own Sauce, Smokey Barbecue
- 1/2 cup mustard-based barbecue sauce , such as Bone Suckin' Mustard (or use your favorite mustard)
- 1 cup sweet red pepper relish (or similar)
- 18 rounds of Miss Jenny's Signature Salt & Pepper Pickles (make more for snacking--highly recommended)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- several generous shakes of Texas Pete (enough to turn the buttermilk a pale orange)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely ground cornmeal (I used Moss' from Buffaloe Milling)
- kosher salt , to taste
- 1-2 Tablespoons Gravitas by Good Rub or similar savory seasoning blend , to taste
- enough oil to fill a large frying pan to 3/4" , about 1/2 gallon
- 1 bag of finely shredded cabbage
- heavy pinch of salt
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- as much Little Black Dress Dreamy , Creamy Vinaigrette (or similar slaw dressing) as you like--some folks like their slaw wetter than others
- 1 pound , 4 oz 85% lean ground beef (look for our sponsor, Certified Angus Beef)
- 10 oz ground pork (I used local, NC pork from The Butcher's Market)
- kosher salt and black pepper for liberal sprinkling right before cooking
- A little strained bacon fat , for frying
- 6 pretzel buns (or similar sturdy buns) I made my own, and I'll post the recipe later
- 18 fried pickles (3 per burger)
- 8 oz jalapeno hoop cheese or pepper jack cheese , sliced with a cheese plane
- 6-5 oz burger patties
- 1 1/2-2 cups Cheerwine pulled pork
- 1 1/2-2 cups Slaw
- 3/4 cup bacon , onion and Cheerwine jam
Chop the bacon into small pieces and then cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is cooked but not completely crisp. Drain off all but 2-3 Tablespoons bacon fat.
Add the diced onion along with some salt, pepper and Gravitast to the pan (leave the bacon in it) and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown and are very soft, about 30-40 minutes.
Once the onions are soft and caramelized, add the Cheerwine, turn the heat to medium-high and simmer/low-boil until almost dry and thickened. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
I made mine ahead. When refrigerated, it gets very thick and Unspreadable, so I reheated what I needed and added enough apple cider vinegar to get a nice spreading consistency.
In a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, combine the pork, salt and pepper (a good teaspoon of salt and several grindings of black pepper), Cheerwine, barbecue sauces and relish.
If using a slow cooker, turn it on high and walk away for 8 hours or so.
If using a Dutch oven, bring everything up to a boil and then keep at a low simmer for 2-3 hours or until all the connective tissue has broken down and the pork is easily shreddable.
If using a pressure cooker, bring to a boil then attach the lid and cook at high pressure for an hour to an hour and a half until the pork is easily shreddable.
When the pork is super tender, let it cool in its juices and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, spoon out as much of the fat as you like and then reheat until the juices run freely.
Strain the pork juices out, place in a pan and reduce by 1/2 to 2/3 or until you have a nice, thick syrup. Keep adding back any thinner juices that collect from the pork so they'll reduce as well.
Stir the thickened juices back into the pork and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Chill until needed and reheat to serve.
Arrange the pickle slices on several layers of paper towel and blot the tops dry. Let the pickles sit for a good 10-15 minutes. You want them as dry as you can get them.
Meanwhile, mix the buttermilk and Texas Pete in a bowl. Put the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper and Gravitas in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and shake to combine well.
Dip the pickles into the buttermilk bath, let them drain a moment and then put them in the bag with the seasoned flour. Shake shake shake.
Remove and set on a rack for 15 minutes so a nice crust forms.
Meanwhile, heat the oil to 350F.
Fry the pickles, a few at a time, until lovely golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn them as necessary.
Remove to drain on a few layers of paper towel. Serve warm.
In a large bowl, ombine the shredded cabbage, salt and vinegar. Toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Remove the proto-slaw from the fridge, squeeze out all the excess liquid and get rid of it.
Place the drained cabbage back in the bowl and add enough Little Black Dress Dreamy, Creamy Vinaigrette (or your favorite slaw dressing) to make a nice "cole slaw consistency). Refrigerate until needed.
With clean hands, mix the ground beef and pork together evenly. Divide into 6 5oz patties. Refrigerate until about 45 minutes before cooking.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
Add a bit of bacon fat and brush it around evenly in the pan.
Cook the burgers to an internal temperature of 150F (unless you've ground your own pork), flipping as often as you like. Total cooking time is about 7-8 minutes. Check with your instant-read thermometer.
Split and heat the pretzel buns until hot but not toasted.
Place 3 fried pickles (or maybe 4 if you made extra, but don't go crazy with them) on each bottom bun. Top with 2 thin pieces of cheese. Broil for a minute to melt the cheese.
Place a burger patty on top of the cheese followed by 2-3 more pieces of cheese. Make sure the cheese melts--you may need to broil them again at this point.
Top the cheese with no more than 1/4 cup or so of the pulled pork. (less would be better for Picking Up)
Top that with no more than 1/4 cup or so of the slaw. (ditto the pulled pork)
Spread about 2 Tablespoons of the bacon jam on the top bun and then press the whole thing together gently.
Laugh at your side dishes, because you won't have room to eat them too.
Bend over so you don't dribble down the front of your shirt, and enjoy!
Well, now I’m exhausted. Happy, but exhausted. And full. But exhausted. And happy!
Kita, thank you so much for wrangling this huge and epic event! I think you are spectacular, and I was so happy you invited me to participate!
Now, get ready friends. Here comes the Giveaway Action!
The Great Burger Month 2016 Giveaway!
Yes, feast your eyes on the bounty that could be yours if you enter the giveaway!
- Swissmar Glow 7PC Fondue Set ($15.00)
- American Lamb
- Cabot cheesebox
- Cert Angus Beef
- Charbroil Grill
- Cowboy Charcoal Samplers
- Cuttingboard.com cutting board
- GrillMasters Club Box
And while I am the sole Perpetrator of the Epic Got to be NC Burger for #BurgerMonth 2016, huge thank yous are in order to the following brands for sponsoring us and for donating the prizes for the giveaway: American Lamb Board, Char-broil, Cowboy Charcoal, Swissmar, Cabot Cheese, Grill Master Club, Certified Angus Beef, and CuttingBoard.com. Thank you so very much, you guys! And, if I didn’t already say it, thank you Kita for being amazing, and thank you for wrangling Burger Month like a boss! (Find Kita at both Girl Carnivore and Pass the Sushi.)
To see all the amazing burgers my talented, creative, and hungry bloggy friends created for #BurgerMonth, please visit Kita’s Burger Month page.
Now, there are a Very Lot of ways to enter the burger month giveaway, so real quick whip up a Got to Be NC Burger and get to entering!
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