Spencer’s Pork Burgers

Hello again friends, this is our first food post, when it comes to our camping adventures, so please bear with us. Additionally please feel free to comment below with any suggestions, you may have, that would help us improve our blog, we would love to hear from you.

With that said, Pork burgers are a quick and easy lunch, or dinner, option that your family will absolutely love. They are a bit different than your typical camp food, but they are quick, they are easy, and the flavor combination is awesome. We came across a recipe for pork burgers awhile back, and it was good, but we felt the burger itself was lacking. I mean if it’s just meat and a bun then why not just make regular burgers right? They needed something, beef burgers generally get the tart and sour flavors of the relishes, and pickles, ketchup, mustard, onions, but if you think about it you usually associate pork with sweet and spicy, rubs, fruits, sugars. So with that in mind Spencer started experimenting, we saw that other people were using BBQ sauces, and rubs but then why not just go with pulled pork, or ribs, at that point? We saw other people using fruits, anything from pineapples, to pears and it was good, but the sweetness and texture still wasn’t quite right so we kept going. The end result is something quite wonderful, full of flavor, again they are quick, and for an added bonus they are a tad bit more healthy than many other recipes out there. We sincerely hope you will give it a try, you will not be disappointed, and as always let us know what you think below in the comments.

What you will need:

  • 2lb Ground Pork
  • 1 bunch Red Leaf Lettuce
  • 1 Apple
  • Fresh Kaiser roll(s).
  • Pepper Jack Cheese (Sliced)
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

So lets talk meat, Spencer prefers to grind his own meat, opposed to buying it. He says that you never really know what you are getting when you buy something that’s already ground. With all of the neat little tricks of the trade that meat vendors pull in order to make a few extra bucks, who really does? So, growing up on the farm his family typically reserved all of the meat around the shoulder area for the grinder on anything that they processed. This is due to the fact that this area is very fatty, and it was just easier, with all of the meat that they processed for the family, to just cut the majority of the fat off and grind it into burger, sausage, jerky, hot dogs… you name it. This was particularly true for venison since he says that he has never met a person who enjoyed the tallow from a deer coating the inside of their mouth. Anyway this area is about where the chuck roast is on a cow, which is the most common cut of meat for hamburger, so why would it be any different with pork?

So, what we have here is a beautiful array of “Country style ribs” which is a bit misleading in its name. This cut of meat doesn’t actually contain any rib bones, this is, you guessed it, the shoulder, so we have all of this wonderful marbling, surrounding chunks of the upper loin, and it makes for one juicy, flavorful, burger. We can’t stress this enough, it is important to know where your meat comes from as well, again tricks of the trade will lead you to believe that you are getting a single fresh cut of meat when you are actually getting several cuts of meat “glued” together, in a matter of speaking, then dyed to make it look fresh. So, with that, Spencer didn’t actually pull out the meat grinder for this, he cheated, he simply cut the meat off the bone and tossed it in his ninja. He then added the salt, pepper, a dash of garlic, a pinch of rosemary, gave it a quick mix, and wallah! Ready to be placed in a resealable container for camp. That’s it, step one is done.


Do not throw the bones away, put these in a freezer bag and freeze them for later. You want to season a pan for a dish that you are making, soup, chili, this is the way to go. Fry these up in the pan first with a little seasoning, discard the bones, deglaze the pan and boy oh boy do you have the start of something beautiful.

Spencer Says Yes!

If you own a Ninja food processor…
Then does that make you a Ninja Master?

Anyway… This is where our recipe really begins to differ from the others. We have found recipes that use pears, we have found recipes that use pineapple slices, or nothing at all. Some are fried in a frying pan, some are baked, some recipes use arugula, spinach, blue cheese, all kinds of fancy things that you wouldn’t typically find in this area, or while camping. Pork is best eaten with something sweet, in popular opinion, so we thought since pork chops and apple sauce has always been a regional favorite so why not try something similar. The result was spectacular and we love making these during the fall because wild, or fresh orchard, apples are in such an abundance this time of the year. So, being blessed to live in the north country we just pick a few from our wild apple tree and call it good.

No pesticides, no preservatives, fresh, sweet, and completely organic, it does not get any better than that. Now, we did try it with pears, but the sweetness, and crunch, of the apple makes it a little bit of a better choice in our opinion. All you need to do is simply take, and clean, some red leaf lettuce, found at your local farm stand, in your garden, in your flower pot, it literally grows anywhere you plant it. You then chop the lettuce it in half, once, and place it in a bowl.You then core and slice the apple as thinly as you can and place that in the bowl on top of the lettuce. Finally coat with equal amounts of red wine vinegar and olive oil, probably a quarter cup of each will do it. You should also do this just before you pat the burgers for frying since it doesn’t keep long. The oxidation will start to turn the apples brown, and the acid from the oil/vinegar mixture will begin to wilt the lettuce. Wilting is fine to a certain extent, that’s what you want, slightly wilted, flavors starting to blend, but too long will make it soggy.

Now, patting the burgers, these burgers should be thick, start with 3/4 inch and go up or down from there depending on your liking. Spencer likes these burgers over an inch thick, as you can see from the picture, but remember, this is pork, make sure you allow enough time for it to be cooked thoroughly. This burger should be cooked like you would any other burger, over an open flame. You may want to keep it on a low temperature area for a bit after introducing it to the flame just to make sure. When the burger is almost done lightly toast the buns on the grill grate, take care not to burn them because they will burn quickly and easily.

Time to assemble the burgers, slap a couple of slices of cheese on the burger, wait until the cheese is melted then place on bun, add a layer of the apple slices, and a layer of the lettuce, as much as you can fit, place cap on burger. These burgers should be ready to go as is, the olive oil, Vinegar, juicy apples, and juicy burger should be all of the dressing that you need, trust me. The kids like putting BBQ sauce on them, Kimberly puts mustard on everything, but these burgers should be eaten plane, it contains everything that you need. Additionally any leftover salad will not keep so serve that on the side and enjoy.

Here are the instructions again:

  1. Mix ground pork with salt pepper and rosemary then pat into quarter pound patties.
  2. Chop red leaf lettuce in half place in bowl, add apple slices, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
  3. Cook burgers on open flame until completely done, place Kaiser rolls on grate and lightly toast on both sides.
  4. Place cheese on burger, wait until melted, then place burger on roll, top with apple slices, and lettuce then cap.
  5. Serve with any extra lettuce and apple mixture on the side.

There it is, quick, simple, three small resealable containers that are easily carried along on any camping trip, providing up to three meals for a three person camping crew. Of course there are always hot dogs, which is fine….. but you don’t always know where they come from…. Spencer does, but when asked he will just simply tell you to just eat them if you are hungry.

If you tried this please let us know below and let us know what you think. Until next time thank you for reading and hope to hear from you soon.

– Kimberly And Spencer

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