Roasted pork belly burger
There is nothing like a good old Sunday pub lunch of roasted pork belly, apple sauce, mash and cabbage – even better after a round of pork scratchings and a couple of pints of ale. And even better in a burger!
Makes 4 burgers
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Outdoors: Kettle-style grill with lid or hot smoker
Indoors: Oven, plus saucepans on the hob
You will also need a roasting tin (pan)
1.2kg pork belly, skin on, un-scored
4 seeded burger buns
1 jar sauerkraut
Sea salt and black pepper
2 eating apples, peeled and diced
2 tbsp apple juice
1 tsp butter
Pinch of salt
2–3 medium floury potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 220C (425F/gas mark 7) or get your coals cooking with a large indirect side.
Remove the skin from the pork belly and set aside. Lightly score the fat remaining on the belly and season with salt and pepper. Stick it in a roasting tin (pan) and put it in the oven. After 25 minutes, lower the temperature to 160C (310F/gas mark 2½) and roast for another 2 hours. If you’re cooking outside, make sure the cooker is really hot (220C/425F).
Then place the pork above indirect heat, with a drip pan underneath the grill to collect the juices and fat. After 25 minutes, use the pinwheels to suffocate the airflow and bring the temperature inside the cooker to 160C for the rest of the cook.
While the pork is roasting, score the whole pork skin and place it on a baking sheet. Stick it in the sink and pour a full kettle of boiling water over the skin. Then leave the skin on a cooling rack to dry out for a couple of hours.
Next, make the apple sauce. Chuck the diced apple in a saucepan along with the apple juice, butter and salt. Add in half a glass of water and bring to the boil. Next, lower the heat and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick and creamy. Set aside to cool.
When the pork belly is cooked, remove it from the oven and turn the oven up to 230C (450F/gas mark 8). The pork skin should have dried out by now. Rub table salt all over the skin, massaging it into the score lines. Place the skin on a rack in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until the top blisters up. Remove and cool, until crispy.
Now it’s mash time. Bring a medium saucepan full of water to the boil and drop the chunked spuds in. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft enough to mash. Drain and put them back into the pan. Add the butter and milk, and season with salt and pepper. Mash until smooth and creamy.
When everything is ready, slice that rambunctious pork into eight solid slices. Toast your buns, then layer up the mash, belly slices, sauerkraut, apple sauce and pork scratchings.
Lamb chorizo burger with apricot salsa
Get ready to jump on the food party train when creating this beautiful gift to humankind. First off, it’s got lamb fat, and I could marry lamb fat if it was allowed. Saying that, I’m an ordained member of the Spiritual Humanist clergy. Maybe I could perform the wedding myself. “Do you, DJ BBQ, take this lamb fat, to love and to hold, to cherish and to devour?” DJ BBQ: “I do.” But back to the burger…
Makes 4 burgers
Outdoors: Half and half technique
Indoors: Griddle pan on the hob (stovetop)
200g cooking chorizo, skinned and chopped
500g lamb shoulder, minced (ground)
4 brioche burger buns
4 tbsp smoked garlic mayo, optional (see recipe below)
3 ripe, fresh apricots, chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped or torn mint leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of chilli flakes (crushed chili pepper)
Sea salt and black pepper
Evenly mix the chopped chorizo into the lamb mince. Divide the mix into four balls and flatten them into patties a little bit larger than the buns, as you will get shrinkage as the fats render. You don’t need to season these burgers, because of the salty chorizo in the mix.
When your patties are ready, set them aside while your grill is getting fired up! If you’re cooking indoors, set a griddle pan over a medium to high heat on the hob.
Now let’s make the salsa. Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste. Remember, the chorizo is quite salty so take it easy.
When the grill is rocking or the griddle hot, get the patties over direct heat or into the pan. If you’re cooking outdoors, you will get some flare-ups because of the fat content in the chorizo and the lamb mince, but you’ve got your indirect heat goof-proof zone to go to if things get out of hand.
Grill or griddle until you have a lovely crust on the outside and the patties are cooked nicely throughout (about 5 minutes per side).
Toast your buns, then get ready to create a mouth party sensation. I am so excited for your taste buds right now! You probably don’t believe me – I could be sleeping! – but I’m always excited… and I don’t sleep much. Anyway!
Sometimes, I start by slathering smoked garlic mayo on the bottom bun, but this is optional. Then add the burger, top with your freshly made apricot salsa and enjoy.
Smoked garlic mayo
1 whole garlic bulb
Juice of 1 lemon
Put your garlic on to smoke – the best way is popping the bulb into a proper smoker and leaving it for about 2 hours.
If you can’t smoke your garlic outdoors, just wrap it in a little foil and leave it in the oven for about an hour (at around 180C/350F/gas mark 4). When the garlic is cooked, peel and crush it.
Add it to the mayonnaise, along with the lemon juice, and whisk it together.
The Burger Book: Banging burgers, sides and sauces to cook indoors and out by DJ BBQ (Quadrille, £12.99). Photography: David Loftus