Heartland Pork Burger with Summer Bounty Relish

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.

When most people think of Iowa the first thing that comes to mind, is CORN! What most people don’t realize is that Iowa is also the nation’s top pork producer. Every Saturday from spring to fall in Des Moines, Iowa there is an incredible farmer’s market where I love to buy fresh produce for the week. This burger combines many of Iowa’s finest – fresh vegetables and pork, all in one sandwich.


Blue Cheese Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup blue cheese, finely crumbled
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato, seeds removed & chopped
1/2 cup precooked corn kernels
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, & finely chopped

2 pounds ground pork 3 tablespoons minced onion
3 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 round Italian or French bread rolls


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

To make the blue cheese dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, blue cheese, sour cream, milk, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in small bowl; cover and set aside or refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers.

To make relish, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium size mixing bowl. Stir in tomato, corn, and cucumber to coat. Cover and set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place ground pork in large mixing bowl. Add onion, pepper sauce, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Handling pork as little as possible work all ingredients together until well combined. Shape into 6 patties to fit rolls. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place buns cut side down on the outer edges of grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the blue cheese dressing over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a grilled patty, then with a slotted spoon top with relish, add the top bun and serve.

Makes 6 burgers