Jamaican Pork Burgers with Crispy Fried Plantains, Pineapple Salsa, and Smoky Orange Mayonnaise

Accolades 2011 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers
Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.

Growing up on a hog farm in Iowa, I have always had a love of all things pork and I find the big bold flavors of Jamaica to be palate pleasing!


Smoky Orange Mayonnaise

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 habanero chiles, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 small habanero chiles, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Fried Plantains

  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 green plantains, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  • 6 slices (1/4-inch-thick) Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 sesame seed hamburger buns, split
  • 6 iceberg lettuce leaves


Heat a gas grill to high.

To make the mayonnaise, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers.

To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the burgers.

To make the patties, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible, mix well. Form mixture into 6 equal patties, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

To make the fried plantains, pour the oil into a large fireproof pot and heat to 325 degrees F on the grill. Add the plantains and cook for 3 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and flatten with the bottom of a glass or spatula. Return to the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Drain, sprinkle with salt, and keep warm.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the patties and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place a slice of cheese on each patty and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edge of grill to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise on each of the cut sides of the buns. Place the lettuce leaves on the bun bottoms, and then top with equal portions of the salsa, the patties, and equal portions of the fried plantains. Add the bun tops and serve.