Burgers are good all year round, but especially in the summer. These Pork & Beef Burgers are a riff on a favourite family recipe. They just may become a favourite for you and yours too.
From Meatball to Burger
Whenever I serve my Belgian meatballs, they’re always met with rave reviews. One day it occurred to me that I could get that same great flavour without all that rolling, rolling, rolling of individual meatballs. Not that it’s difficult to roll meatballs, mind you, but I was thinking of slapping that mixture of ground pork and beef scented with nutmeg into patties.
After all, if a Belgian meatball is delicious, how much better might it in a bun with classic burger toppings?
And so my Pork & Beef Burgers came to be.
Grill or Stove?
I rarely barbecue these days, but I’m sure these patties would grill up beautifully. I’ve been preparing them as I learned to make those meatballs: browned in butter in a skillet and then finished in the oven. When you taste one, you just may forget about the barbecue.
A Make-Ahead Tip
While you might want to cook a batch of these Pork & Beef Burgers right away, consider the convenience of having ready-to-cook patties in the freezer whenever a burger craving strikes.
I’ve been freezing raw burger patties for years. I place the shaped patties on a parchment paper-covered tray and put it into the freezer. Once they’re solid, I transfer them to a freezer-safe container. This technique means I can easily individually remove as many as I need. And, they last two to three months this way.
Enjoy Your Pork & Beef Burgers
The mixture of pork and beef creates a rich burger, and the hint of nutmeg adds an aura of mysteriousness. Not everyone will be able to identify that subtle flavour, but they’ll know they like it.
In fact, they’ll be crowding round as soon as they smell that mouthwatering aroma as you pull a tray of burgers like these out of the oven.
The mixture of pork and beef creates a rich burger, and the hint of nutmeg adds an aura of mysteriousness. The directions are for cooking the burgers on the stovetop and finished in the oven, but you could make them on the barbecue too. Just make sure they're thoroughly cooked (to at least 160°F or beyond). While the recipe is written for 8 burgers, you could easily stretch it to at least 10.
- 1 lb extra-lean or lean ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs (whole wheat or white)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp butter
Pre-heat the oven to 375℉. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Then, using a large fork or your hands, mix until everything is well incorporated. If you’re unsure about the seasoning, form a small patty from a tablespoon of the mixture and fry it so you can taste it. (That’s what I did!) Adjust the salt, pepper and nutmeg as needed.
Divide the mixture into eight portions and form into patties. I make them fairly think but quite large (4–5 inches) in diameter because they'll swell up during cooking.
Over medium high heat, melt half of the butter in a large skillet. Add four of the patties and brown them well on both sides. At this stage, you’re not cooking them through. The meat releases some fat as it's browning, so a lot of butter isn't necessary. Repeat for the remaining patties. Place all the browned patties on the prepared baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes. They should be thoroughly cooked, to at least 160°F on a meat thermometer. I generally bake mine to around 180° and they're never dried out.
Serve on the buns of your choice with a selection of condiments and fixin's.
For optional extra flavour, add about 1/3 cup finely chopped onion to the meat mixture and/or a few tablespoons of ketchup.
Looking for Other Burger Ideas?
Looking back, I see that two of my early posts on the blog were for burgers. (Early as in my food photography skills were rudimentary at best.) Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. The first was for chicken & turkey burgers, and the second was for beef burgers with wintry toppings. And although I don’t call them burgers, these Salmon, Potato & Lentil Cakes are a different spin on the burger concept.