Recipe: Sophie's pulled pork burgers

I recently went on a sibling date with my brother in Auckland. Basically, I bribed him with burgers.

We visited this new place in Ponsonby, Burger Burger, where I enveloped the most delicious pulled pork burger. It was hands down the best burger I have ever eaten.

I felt this wonder needed to be brought to the masses, so here is my take on it. Add more pork meat if you wish, there is plenty of spice rub to go around, just make sure you add enough water to just reach the top piece of pork in the slow cooker.

I made my barbecue sauce the night before as it gives it time for the flavour to develop as well as allowing it to thicken.

Make your own buns if you've got the time or find some nice soft ones at the supermarket.

Pulled pork burgers
Serves 6

Pulled pork
1kg pork shoulder chops, fat trimmed
2 large onions, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
330ml beer
1 cup water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
bunch of coriander
spice rub (see below)
½ cup barbecue sauce (see below)

Spice rub
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1½ tsp oregano
1½ tsp smoked paprika
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Barbecue sauce
splash olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp crushed chilli
1 onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp mustard powder
¼ cup malt/cider/white or red wine vinegar
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup (or a large tin) of tomato sauce
2-3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

To serve
shredded red cabbage
fresh coriander
caramelised onions
420g high-grade flour
1 sachet of instant yeast (8g)
40g white sugar
1 tsp salt
170ml milk
juice of 1 lemon
1 egg, separated
30g butter, cubed, room temperature
egg white
sesame seeds or salt flakes to garnish

Start the pork just over nine hours before you want to serve it.

Mix together the rub ingredients and rub into the pork chops. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat with a splash of oil and sear the meat for about a minute on each side.

Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork on top, sprinkle over the salt and sugar and any remaining spice rub. Pour over the beer and water and leave to cook on high for nine hours, stirring every couple of hours if you are around.

Once the meat begins to fall off the bone, tear it apart with two forks and leave to cook until the sauce has thickened. At this point, stir in the barbecue sauce and leave to cook for whatever is left of the nine hours.

Barbecue sauce
Sauté the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat until translucent. Then add the garlic, chilli and spices. Cook for a few minutes before adding the tomato paste, stir.

Then add the vinegar, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt and simmer while stirring for 15 minutes. Leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

To make the buns
Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the lemon juice to the milk and let it sit until it curdles. Mix this into the dry mix, followed by the egg white and then the yolk.

Stir until the dough comes together. Add the butter in small pieces and knead it into the dough, only adding the next piece when the previous piece has been incorporated.

Knead for around 15 minutes then leave to rise in a cling film-covered bowl in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Once the dough has roughly doubled in size, punch it down then split it into six (you will make more buns than patties). Gently form smooth balls and leave to rise a second time on a baking tray lined with baking paper for another hour.

The other alternative is to warm your oven to 50degC then turn it off and leave the buns to rise in the oven's residual heat.

Preheat the oven to 190degC.

Mix the egg white with a splash of water and brush liberally over the buns. Sprinkle the tops with salt flakes or sesame seeds then bake for 15-18 minutes until they are golden and make a hollow sound when tapped. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before cutting.

To serve
Spread the heel of the bun with barbecue sauce, caramelised onions and a spoonful of pork. Top with coriander and cabbage. Line the crown of the bun with mayo and place it on top of the king of all burgers.


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