Hoosier Daddy Pork Burgers with Cider-Glazed Bacon and Grilled Corn Butter
I was born and raised in Indiana, which truly is the heartland of America.I’ve definitely tried to bring together a lot of great Indiana-based ingredients in this Big Ten burger. After you taste this burger, I guarantee you’ll be sayin’ “Hoosier Daddy!!”
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
12 thin slices bacon
Grilled Corn Butter:
1 large ear corn, husk removed
1 large clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
1 stick good-quality unsalted butter, room temperature
Hoosier Daddy Salad:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 1/4 cups matchsticks of peeled tart, crisp apple
1 1/4 cups baby spinach, lightly packed and chopped
3 tablespoons finely minced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (preferably Maytag)
6 ounces country ham, diced
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
30 ounces ground pork
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
8 ounces maple-smoked Jarlsberg, shredded (available at Whole Foods) or other smoked cheese
6 good-quality potato buns, split
3/4 cup chopped prepared white cheddar popcorn
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
To make Cider-Glazed Bacon, place a small fireproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add apple cider and vinegar and reduce to about 1/4 cup or until it becomes a reasonably sticky syrup. Set aside 1 1/2 tablespoons for later use. Heat a large fireproof skillet on the grill over medium heat. Add 6 slices bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 minutes. Brush top of bacon with reduced apple cider and flip; cook for 30 seconds. Brush the “new” top of bacon with reduced apple cider and flip; cook for 30 seconds or until crispy. Brush bacon one last time. Transfer bacon to a plate. Pour off fat. Repeat with remaining 6 slices bacon.
To make Grilled Corn Butter, place corn on the grill over medium-high heat and cook for about 8 minutes, turning occassionally. Remove corn kernels from cob; when cool, finely chop corn kernels. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup chopped corn kernels, garlic, butter, and 1/2 tablespoon reserved reduced cider; mix until well combined.
To make Hoosier Daddy Salad, in a medium mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard. Add apple, baby spinach, onion, and blue cheese; toss to coat.
To make the patties, add country ham and rosemary to the bowl of a food processor; pulse until ham is finely chopped. In a large mixing bowl combine country ham, pork, mayonnaise, remaining reserved 1 tablespoon reduced apple cider, salt, and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of grilling, top each patty with an equal amount of cheese. Also, during the last few minutes of grilling, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Grilled Corn Butter on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place two slices of Cider-Glazed Bacon, equal amounts of chopped popcorn, a cheese-topped patty, and a generous amount of Hoosier Daddy Salad. Add the bun tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.