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Author Notes: We love Puerco Pebil, but the 2 day prep time, and hours in the oven is a big investment. These burgers give the flavor we long for in a fraction of the time. —Magpye
- 1/2 cup lime juice (use freshly squeezed)*
- 3 tablespoons orange juice (use freshly squeezed)*
- 2 tablespoons achiote (annatto) seeds
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1-2 habenero peppers (1 small pepper yields moderate heat. Adjust up or down to your liking)
Patties and Topping
- 2 pounds pork butt (or pre-ground pork in a pinch, but it's not as good)
- 1 slice white sandwich bread (or 1/2 bun)
- 2 ears corn
- 1 med. red onion
- 6 ounces queso fresco
- 4 tablespoons marinade
- 6 sturdy sandwich rolls (ex. brioche buns)
- sliced limes for garnish
- Start Marinade. Place all ingredients into a blender and run on low speed for a minute to chop roughly. Leave everything in the blender for now - you will be processing further in a little while; this allows the seeds to start softening so the mixture will ultimately be smoother. *Note: Traditional puerco pebil uses sour orange juice, which is not widely available in the US. The lime and orange juices combine to form an approximation - if you can find sour orange juice, by all means use it. You should be able to get the juice you need from 3-4 limes (buy a few extra for serving) and 1 orange.
- Prepare the pork. Cut pork into 2 inch cubes, trimming only the really large pieces of fat - you need some fat in this recipe! Place cubes on a tray and freeze for about 30 minutes.
- Finish marinade. Resume blending the marinade - this will take several minutes. Stop and scrape down the blender cup frequently. Ultimately, you should end up with a fairly smooth, almost paste-like mixture that is brick red and appears to be homogeneous. Scoop out into a small bowl, and take out 4 TBs and set aside. Tear up the bread and stir it in (not into the 4 TBS portion).
- Prepare the onions and corn. Slice the onion in half pole to pole, then further slice into 3/8" wide half-moons. Place in microwave safe bowl. Cut the kernels off the ears of corn and add to the bowl. Add 2 TBS water to the bowl and cover with cling film. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and spread out onto paper towels to soak up any extra moisture.
- When cool, replace onions and corn into the bowl. Add the queso fresco (crumbled into largish pieces) and reserved 4 TBS of marinade. Toss to coat evenly. Send to fridge for at least 30 minutes (you won't it again need until serving time).
- Grind the pork. Run slightly frozen pork, bread and marinade from step 3 through the coarse blade of a meat grinder twice. Be sure that the spices and bread are evenly distributed. If you've opted for pre-ground pork, at this point just add the bread and spices and mix very thoroughly.
- Divide pork mixture into 6 patties, about 3/4 of an inch thick. Patty well, this mixture is not as sticky as a typical beef burger mix. Pan fry or grill over med-high heat until cooked all the way through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Turn only once during cooking.
- While burgers are cooking, lightly butter and toast 6 buns.
- To assemble and serve: Place 1 patty on each bun bottom and top with a generous scoop of corn/onion/cheese mixture. Add bun top and serve with extra lime wedges
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Burger Recipe