Recipe courtesy of Papa's Soul Food Kitchen and BBQ

Soul Burger

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 5 servings
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2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3 stalks celery, small diced 

1 bell pepper, small diced 

1/2 medium onion, small diced

2 1/2 pounds fresh ground pork (pork shoulder butt is recommended) 

2 tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce, plus more for serving

1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 

3 teaspoons kosher salt 

2 teaspoons garlic powder 

2 teaspoons onion powder 

2 teaspoons paprika 

2 teaspoons ground black pepper 

Fried Onions:

Vegetable oil, for frying

1 onion, julienned 

1 cup buttermilk 

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1/4 cup cornmeal 

4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 


3 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage 

1/4 cup shredded carrot 

3 tablespoons store-bought coleslaw dressing

5 cornmeal buns, split 


Special equipment:
a grill or smoker; a deep fryer
  1. For the patties: Prepare a grill for medium-high heat or prepare a smoker to 225 degrees F.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery, bell pepper and onion and saute until transparent and soft. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. While the vegetables are cooling, put the ground pork in a large bowl. Add the sauteed vegetables, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and black pepper. Mix together with your hands until well-blended. Shape the meat into five 8-ounce patties.
  4. Grill or smoke the patties until the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F, about 4 minutes per side on a grill and 50 minutes in a smoker.
  5. For the fried onions: Heat a deep fryer with vegetable oil.
  6. Soak the julienned onion in a bowl with the buttermilk for 5 minutes. Combine the flour, cornmeal and Cajun seasoning in a shallow bowl. Remove the onion from the buttermilk (letting the excess drip off) and dredge in the seasoned flour. Working in batches, fry in the hot oil until crispy, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  7. For the coleslaw: Combine the green and red cabbage, carrots and coleslaw dressing in a large bowl and toss well to coat.
  8. To assemble: Place some coleslaw in the bottom of each bun. Top with a patty, some BBQ sauce and fried onions. Add the bun tops and enjoy.