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Grilled Pork Burger with Fennel and Pistachios served with Apple and Plum or Damson Sauce

These burgers are sweet and delicious. Belly or shoulder of pork is best here as you are generally guaranteed a decent amount of fat from those two cuts, and fat is essential for a good burger. If the meat you are using is too lean the burgers will be dry, hard and lacking in flavour. The other crucial point to remember for any kind of minced meat dish is that the mince needs to be really fresh, so minced on the same day you are going to cook and eat them. Minced meat deteriorates faster than any other prepared meat, hence freshness is paramount. Aromatic roast fennel seeds work beautifully here as they do with almost any cut of pork and the pistachio nuts add their own magical flavour and texture. I serve these with various different dishes. A plain mashed potato is good as is the courgette and marjoram mash. They also sit happily with a tomato stew or sauce. A Bramley apple sauce or the version with plums is also good here. Cook these burgers fully, this is not the time for a rare burger


Serves 6 as a main course

700g (1 1/2lb) minced streaky or shoulder of pork

2 cloves of garlic crushed

1-2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

2 teaspoon of fennel seeds, roasted and ground

2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) chopped coriander leaves

40g (1 1/2oz) pistachio nuts, shells removed

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients together. Fry a teaspoon of the mixture to check seasoning. Adjust as necessary. Form the mixture into burgers, either 4 large or 8 small, and chill until ready to cook. Heat a heavy grill pan until quite hot. Grease the burgers lightly with olive oil and place on the hot grill to cook.  Allow to become golden brown on one side before turning. Control the heat carefully and cook the burgers, turning occasionally until fully cooked through. This takes about 15 minutes and the burgers will feel firm to the touch.

Serve the burgers on hot plates with Bramley Apple and Plum Sauce and a vegetable of choice.

Bramley Apple and Plum or Damson Sauce (VVC)

450g (1lb) Bramley apples

4 plums or damsons

2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) sugar

2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) water

Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter in half. Place in a small saucepan with the sugar and water. Quarter the plums and remove the stones and add to the apples. Cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid and cook on a very low heat. The apples and plums will collapse to a frothy fluff. Allow to cool a little and then if you wish, lift the skins off the pieces of plum – it is not essential to do this. Stir well to mix the apples and the plums and taste and if necessary add another pinch of sugar.

20/6/2019 (SH/ROC) (15428) (Rory O’Connell)

This is a recipe by
Rory O'Connell
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