Hatch Chile Pepper Pork Burger with Serrano Ham

Posted by johngl

Back on the 4th of July holiday, when my good friend BigDMcC and I participated in our very own paella fest, he brought over a type of pepper seasoning I had never experienced before: Piment d’Espelette. That seasoning just did wonders with the pork he used in his paella.

Since we are still on our burger crusade, I thought, why not?

Pork burger with Serrano Ham and Hatch Chile peppers

It also happened that a week or so ago, most glorious spousal unit discovered this recipe on Food & Wine. It sounded good, so I thought I might just change it up a little bit.

Begin with a one-pound piece of pork shoulder:

Pork Shoulder

Oddly, at the market, you might find this labeled as pork butt. Don’t ask me why; I don’t feel like researching it at the moment.

Anyway, cut it up:

Cut into pieces

Yep, it is pretty fatty stuff.  But then, that is why it’s so good.

Now just run it through a grinder:

ground and ready

Okay, so here is where the whining usually begins:  I don’t have a grinder!  What do I do?

Well, the butchers in the markets have really big grinders.  They are happy to help you out.  All you really have to do is pick out your roast, plunk it down on the counter and say, “Could you please grind this up for me?”  Two minutes later, it will be ground up and ready for you.  Please be sure and thank them!

With that out of the way, you can add some goodies to the pork.  Goodies like that piment d’Espelette and smoked Paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, and a touch of garlic powder.

Use a large spoon and mix it all together, then form it into three burgers.  I like my burgers in the 6 oz range.  Make them smaller if you’d rather.

burger patties and a chile peppers

That is a Hatch chile pepper in amongst the patties.  We’ll be de-seeding that in a minute or so.

Serrano ham

This is Serrano ham.  It comes from Spanish pigs.

This is Serrano ham after being microwaved for about a minute:

crispy Serrano ham

Looking at this picture, it sorta looks like a meat moth, but really, it’s the nuked Serrano ham.  Get it crispy, like bacon.

Now for the mayo.

seasoned mayo

I’m usually not one for mayo on burgers, but I usually don’t do pork burgers either.  This is a couple of tablespoons of real mayo, about a half teaspoon of chopped flat-leaf parsley, one small finely-chopped garlic clove, a splash of red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and a bit of the espelette pepper. Mix it together into a smooth paste and apply it as a poultice to your face.  It does wonders for your skin.

Prepare your cheese:

Idiazábal cheese

This is Idiazábal cheese.  Made from sheep’s milk, it’s quite flavorful and is rather buttery and nutty tasting.  I’d never tried it before, but the recipe suggested it so I gave it a whirl.  Petite Basque might be a good substitute if you can’t find this particular type.

So, back to the Hatch:

splayed and seeded

Splay it and scrape it.  Need I say more?

Fry your burgers.  A little bit of olive oil in a really hot pan helps keep things from sticking.


Now, apply some cheese:

cheese applied

Toast your buns and apply any leftover mayo.  You didn’t actually put it on your face, did you?  Lay some of the crispy Serrano on top of the mayo.

mayo and ham applied

Drop the burger on top of the ham, add the Hatch pepper, cap it, and you’re ready to take a bite:

juicy pork burger

Shown here with some cottage cheese topped with espelette and a smidge of smoked paprika (love that color!), the burger was wonderfully juicy and sorta reminded me of breakfast sausage.  The cheese added some wonderful richness (like it was needed given all the fat in the pork) and the ham brought some salty crunchiness to the party.  The mayo, laced with vinegar supplied some tartness and the Hatch pepper, some sweetened heat.

Given the breakfast sausage thing, I can’t wait to try these on an English muffin along with some poached egg and hollandaise. M-mmmm.

Thanks, BigD, for the intro to Piment d’Espelette!

This entry was posted in Land, Meat, Recipes: Eats, Techniques and tagged , , , by johngl. Bookmark the permalink.

About johngl

A bit of a wildman, John hails from the Midwest: A land of corn, cows, pigs, and a host of other healthfully meaty pursuits. Born on a dark and stormy night in late Fall, John grew up as the son of a meat cutter. There was always plenty of meat at hand. While not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, his family certainly ate well. According to his father, that was the whole point.

9 thoughts on “Hatch Chile Pepper Pork Burger with Serrano Ham

  1. This looks obnoxiously good. You know how it goes…Pork fat = flavor. So preach on Alcoholian!

    By the way, I heard that your hair won’t frizz if you mix up a nice honey mustard sauce and massage it into your scalp. 😀

  2. Oh, and it’s called “Butt” because it comes from the butt end of the shoulder. I believe this term was first coined in Boston, Mass. hence the name “Boston Butt”.

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  4. I am peeing my pants… excellent job

    And the meat guys are always happy to grind. It is a very good thing to get to know the meat guys and them to get to know you. I have had several experiences of advance notices on sales, a particularly nice piece of meat being brought out of the back and a few free samples, all because I am nice to my meat guy…

    good advice

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