Tomorrow is Father’s Day, have you got a plan? Steak, steak, steak, kind of expected. But these unique burgers are something everyone will like, are less expensive, still fun and special, and pretty foolproof. Oinkers are made from unseasoned ground pork mixed with ground smoked & cured ham – a spin off that classic rural family favorite; ham loaf.
Traditional ham loaf is a little sweet for me, but I knew there was something modern and extraordinary there. So, by eliminating a lot of the sugar, substituting saltines for the traditional graham cracker binder, adding the smoky flavor only a charcoal grill can create, and topped with a spicy pineapple salsa, I am pretty pleased with this incarnation.
A brioche, or other soft white, bun is great, white American cheese is perfect, and basting the burgers with Stubbs Original BBQ sauce added a nice, tangy, peppery flavor, though I loved the plain, unabated burgers just as much.
I actually don’t eat my burgers on a bun – I prefer a bed of chopped salad or slaw with the salsa and rice. All straight from the fridge is a nice cold lunch for a sweltering day. See? No rules. Just like the best kind of summer day.
- 1 slice bone-in cured ham, 1.5#
- 1 pound unseasoned ground pork
- 1/3 cup crushed saltines
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TBS spicy brown mustard
- BBQ sauce – optional
- White American cheese slices – optional
- Buns and your favorite burger fixings – shredded lettuce, tomato, etc. I used shredded lettuce, scallion greens, and pineapple salsa.
Cut the ham into chunks, removing the bone, and pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Mix with the ground pork, cracker crumbs, eggs and mustard in a large bowl until well combined – but don’t overword the meat. – and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight.
Form the meat into six to eight patties. On a greased grill* rack at medium high direct heat, grill the burgers for 5-6 minutes, flip, and gril another 2-4 minutes. Baste with your favorite BBQ sauce if you wish to add another layer of flavor, I liked the peppery flavory of Stubbs Original, but the plain oinker was pretty great.
Add cheese and melt, remove burgers from the grill when the internal temp is 160° F.
Assemble and serve.