Sunday, January 23, 2011

South Carolina BBQ Pork Burgers

My parents joined us for dinner tonight and my dad loves a good burger! I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while and just got some ground pork from Wallace Farms last weekend so I could give it a go. Well, my dad loved it! The flavor of this burger is inspired by Carolina pulled pork. The bacon adds some smoke while serving as a replacement for the crisp bits of roasted pork. In traditional South Carolina style, this burger is topped with a delicious honey mustard sauce. The sauce can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Get ready, this is a good one!

Adapted from Food and Wine Cookbook, 2004.

Serves 6.

6 slices nitrate-free bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp unsalted, grass-fed butter, melted
1/4 cup raw honey
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 pounds lean ground pork, at room temperature
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 cup shredded green cabbage, about 1/4-1/3 head
large package mixed salad greens

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook half of the bacon and the entire chopped onion in 1 Tbsp of melted butter until the onion turns light brown, 5-6 minutes. Add honey, mustard, and vinegar, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  2. In the meantime, in a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the remaining bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat grill to medium high.
  4. Combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, celery seed, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper in a small bowl.
  5. Place pork in a medium bowl. Add cooled bacon and liquid smoke.  Use your hands to gently combine, without compacting too much. Form the meat into 6 patties and set them on a plate lined with plastic wrap. Sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of the patties, pressing gently with your fingers to help the spices adhere. Brush each patty with a little bit of the remaining melted butter.
  6. Grill burgers for about 6 minutes on each side or until just cooked through.
  7. To serve, divide the salad greens evenly among plates, top with a burger. Spoon cabbage on top of each burger and drizzle generously with honey mustard.


  1. Mom loved it too :-). I especially loved the sauce which would also be delicious on beef and chicken. Yum!

  2. Thanks, Mom! I agree, that sauce was so good!! Not as good as your company, of course...thanks for eating with us. :)

  3. These are my favorite! So good and great leftover as well!

  4. Thanks! I love that they taste just like pulled pork, but a ready a whole lot quicker. Glad you liked them. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. I think this was the first recipe we tried from your site. We were hooked!! The liquid smoke, bacon, mustard, cabbage... everything just works together so well to make these completely delicious! Thanks again for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Sarah! I love this burger, too. I can't take full credit though, Food and Wine was great inspiration! I appreciate your nice comments!