Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork (or Chicken) Burgers: I'm on a roll

I'm back on a roll. After the successful 'chopped steaks' at my brother Tom's lunch last weekend (see blog posting of 1/20/08), I've gotten back to my love of ground meat. Maybe it's being a peasant at heart, but I have always loved burgers, meatballs, meatloaf, sausage, and, on the higher end, terrine and pâté. Somehow getting the flavors and juiciness into the meat has always delighted as well as challenged me. The proof, I guess, is that I have included a number of recipes based on ground meat in this blog over the last year and a half (Swedish meatballs, 10/30/07; green-peppercorn meatballs, 10/13/07; chicken pot pie, 9/13/07; Mediterranean meatballs, 8/27/07; Russian meat pie, 1/17/07; turkey-apple chowder, 12/04/06; blond chili, 10/28/06; Bolognese sauce, 9/15/06). And there are more to come.

This one is for savory, but simple, burgers of ground pork or chicken. They are finished in a bourbon reduction 'glaze' with Dijon mustard. Both flavors enhance these meats, the pork especially. The glaze would probably go with beef too, but I haven't tried it.

The recipe, uncharacteristically, is for only 3 servings (though it's easily doubled) because ground pork and chicken typically come packaged in one pound lots at the supermarket. Being savory burgers, they go well with beer. But a dry red wine of almost any type would do, though I'd choose a Garnacha from Spain or a Grenache from France if I had a choice. Dill pickles are a nice accompaniment.

Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork or Chicken Burgers Tim

3 good burger rolls, such as Kaisers, warmed

1 pound ground pork or chicken
Salt and pepper for sprinkling
A little canola or olive oil for frying

2 tablespoons finely minced or grated onions
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
1/4 cup Bourbon whiskey
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plain or whole grain
2 tablespoons half-and-half or cream

Prepare the glaze first: In a small pan gently fry the onions in the oil until translucent and beginning to turn golden (2-3 minutes). Add the Bourbon, sugar, salt, and pepper, and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the mustard and cream and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Heat a non-stick pan to medium hot. Shape the meat into three cakes, making them flat rather than rounded. Lightly salt and pepper the burgers on one side and fry them, seasoned side down, in a bit of oil. After one minute salt and pepper the tops and turn them over. Fry one more minute. Turn and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and gently complete the frying, turning one or more times, until a knife point twisted in a burger reveals no raw color.

Add the pre-cooked glaze to the pan, and turn the burgers over in the glaze several times over low heat. Transfer the burgers over onto the bottom halves of the rolls. Spoon any remaining sauce over the burgers and cover with the tops.


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