German Polka Burger aka Pork Burger with Sauerkraut and Bavarian Apple Cream

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced sweet onion
4 cups deli-case sauerkraut, drained (2 pounds)
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock

Bavarian Apple Cream:
1 cup sour green apple, peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream

2 pounds ground pork
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 high-quality hard rolls or sandwich rolls, split


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the sauerkraut:
Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add sauerkraut and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in caraway seeds, wine and stock. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Keep warm.

To make the Bavarian apple cream:
Combine, in a small bowl, apple, lemon juice, sugar, salt, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Cover and refrigerate.

To make patties:
In a large bowl add pork, paprika, salt, black pepper, thyme, sage, and mustard. Combine well, handling the meat as little as possible. Form into 6 patties and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side until desired doneness is reached. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls cut sides down on the outer edge of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers: spread the apple cream over the cut sides of the roll tops. Place a patty on each roll bottom and top with equal portions of the sauerkraut. Add the roll tops and enjoy.