Thursday, August 12, 2010
EDU: Pork Fennel Burgers
When KK leaves town, SS is usually inconsolable and makes me go on all kinds of crazy bike rides. Being the good friend that I am, I usually indulge him, but yesterday he was too slow. Instead he invited me over for a romantic evening of Pork Butt/Anise and 'Gansett and a viewing of The Room. Apparently he found the recipe from The Minimalist in the NYT, and had been itching to try it ever since. Since I find the taste of anise/licorice vile, I was skeptical, but SS is a pretty good cook (don't tell him I said that) so I cut him a break.
Step 1: Open Beer. Inexplicably, the nearest liquor store did not sell PBR 40's OR PBR Cans, so I settled for 'Gansett and hope SS didn't think it too fancy.
Apparently he did, since he insisted on drinking it out of a glass. That, or he was ashamed and wanted to pretend it was a Red Hook.
This is everything that went into the burgers. Actually, don't count that flat loaf of bread in the back or the fennel seed because SS forgot that until he had already made the patties. I wish I could say I hid the fennel from him because it's disgusting, but I did not. Let's take a closer look at the pork, shall we?
FRESH PORK BUTT. The meat industry has thought up all kinds of fancy names for cuts of beef, but poor pork gets slapped with PORK BUTT. Sad. Also, one would think that Boneless Butt would be redundant, but I'm not expert.
Tuber. Sweet Tuber. For fries.
My contribution: Goat Cheese Croissants. These morsels (and the beer) were just enough to keep SS and I from eating the paper towels while we prepared the burgers as it was nearly 8:30 by this point. They were good but a little bland.
Sam "TARE-ING that Anise up". Last anise joke, I promise.
Sam really going to work on that Anise. Ok that's the last one. He also chopped some garlic but he was too fast for my camera.
This is Sam's food processor. I always think I have no use for a food processor and then I see how awesome it is and I realize I could probably keep my fingers in tact a few more years if I bought one.
See? Just obliterated it. In like 5 seconds. It was like an infomercial, but REAL.
This is the Pork Butt once SS removed the twine. I wasn't sure the purpose of the twine, but I was sure it was a stupid question so I didn't ask. He briefly considered trimming the fat, but then remarked that he was in "Negative Calories" for the day after his bike ride and left it.
He did however, cut it into more manageable chunks for the food processor and tell me an anecdote about ground Filet Mignon making delicious burgers, which seemed like a waste, but also delicious.
We mixed errthing together in a large bowl before shaping the burgers into patties. Not especially labor intensive, but since SS's hands were already dirty, I let him do it.
This was my assignment. Onion and pepper duty, which would be thrown into the pan with the burgers and caramelized. I also cut up the sweet potato which was a royal pain in the anise.
Here are the patties in the pan. SS made 9 of them. He thought we would each eat 2. He also thought the burgers wouldn't stick to the pan. He was wrong on both counts.
These are the burgers post-flip. The apartment was smelling great at this point and I was trying to figure out how to get the movie to play so I missed the shot when he threw the peppers/onions in. Needless to say, this smelled even better.
This is the burger.
This is the burger immediately before it entered my mouth. The fries took a bit longer to cook, so the plate looks bare, but it was delicious. The pork was juicy and a little spicy, and the bread was soft and crunchy. I didn't even mind/taste the anise! SS and I agreed that it probably could have used some other spices to enhance the flavors, but it was pretty great just as it was. I think cheese would have been tasty too, but SS had no interest in deviating from the recipe, so I held my tongue. Easy (if you have a food processor) and yummy. Would eat again.