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Country Pork and Peppercorn Burgers


  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 pounds ground pork

  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme

  • Salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • Thick-cut white bread, lightly toasted or brioche rolls the size of burger buns, split and lightly toasted

  • 8 leaves red or green leaf lettuce

  • 8 baby gherkin pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced into rings

  • 1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard


Place the peppercorns in a sealable plastic bag to contain and crack them with mallet or small pan to a very coarse grind. Combine the peppercorns with the pork, garlic, thyme and some salt. Make four thick patties, thinner at the center for even cooking. Heat the EVOO over medium-high heat in a skillet. Cook the burgers for 6 minutes on each side. Set the burgers on the bread slices or bun bottoms. Top with the lettuce, sliced gherkins and sliced shallots. Combine the cranberry sauce with the mustard and slather on the bun tops. Place the tops on the burgers and serve.