I am a cooking magazine junkie. If I am ever missing, just look for me in front of the magazine section at the market. I have to check out every specialty food magazine that comes out each month, reading each page by page, especially now when they are all about grilling. This recipe comes from a mag called, appropriately, Grilling, and my recipe is adapted from one by a Mexican chef named Marcela Valladolid. The second I saw grilled pineapple, I had to try it.
I made the Homemade Sesame Seed Buns to go with these burgers and you can see their great texture in the photos. Maybe the buns could have been a little bigger, but they worked out fine. Their slightly sweet taste complemented the sweet pineapple and pork patties. These are really good!
The ground pork is enhanced with a puree of guajillo chiles, garlic, onion and pineapple juice, which gives it a real south of the border flavor. You could use sliced fresh pineapple, but I opted for the easy method: I delegated the peeling, coring and slicing chore to Dole, and they did a very good job. If you, too, are a pineapple aficionado, check out my Pork Tacos with Achiote & Grilled Pineapple. Grilling Season is here! Olé!
Grilled Pork & Pineapple Burger
Makes 4 burgers
3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and soaked in warm water
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
1 garlic clove, peeled, sliced thin
½ small white onion, 1/4-inch dice, divided
¼ cup pineapple juice, drained from can pineapple
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound ground pork
1 large can sliced pineapple, drained, juice reserved
½ cup mayonnaise
4 sesame seed hamburger buns
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 6×6 inch squares aluminum foil
Oil for brushing grill
1. Drain the chiles and discard water. Place chiles, dried herbs, sliced garlic, ¼ of diced onion and ¼ cup pineapple juice in a mini processor. Whiz until smooth. Season puree with salt and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, mix ground pork and chile puree together with a large spoon. Mix well.
3. Divide pork mixture into 4 portions. Form each portion into a 3/4-inch thick patty on a foil square. Place on sheet pan and freeze for 30 minutes.
4. Heat your BBQ grill to medium high and oil grill. Place frozen pork patties face down on grill and remove foil. Grill until cooked almost through and a browned crust has formed. Turn over and finish second side. Keep warm on side of grill.
5. Brush grill with oil and add all pineapple slices. When grill marks appear, keep warm on side of grill.
6. Slice buns in half and brush each cut side with mayonnaise. Place cut side down on grill and cook until browned.
7. Assemble each burger: brush additional mayo on each bun bottom, add pork patty, 1-2 slices of pineapple, ¼ of cilantro leaves and chopped onion. Brush bun top with additional mayo and place atop burger. Eat and enjoy!