Spicy Pork Burgers with Black Beans and Chutney

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Dried Fruit Chutney:

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced 

3 medium cloves garlic, minced 

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1 cup red wine vinegar 

1 cup dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon ground cloves 

1 cinnamon stick 

3/4 cup golden raisins 

1/2 cup dried apricots, halved 

1/2 cup chopped dried figs

1/2 cup cognac 

Black Beans:

3 large red onions, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

2 tablespoons canola oil 

Kosher salt 

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 

Spicy Pork Burgers:

1 1/2 pounds ground pork shoulder

2 tablespoons dry sherry 

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup canola oil

8 slices American cheese 

4 seeded hamburger rolls, halved 

16 to 20 Bibb lettuce leaves 


  1. For the dried fruit chutney: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it begins to smoke lightly, then add the onions and garlic and sprinkle with the salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onions and garlic become translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir to blend and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes to let the vinegar mellow. Add the raisins, apricots, figs, cognac and 1 cup water and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. For the black beans: Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the onions, oil and a generous pinch of salt. Add the sugar and cook until the onions are caramelized and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and beans and cook so the ingredients meld together, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. For the spicy pork burgers: Break up the meat in a medium bowl and spread it up on the sides so that the seasoning can really permeate the meat. Add the sherry, soy sauce, Worcestershire and cayenne. Mix with your hands to make sure all of the flavors get integrated but do not overmix. (The more you work the meat, the tougher the burger.) Form the meat into 4 even patties about 3/4-inch thick.
  4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet and add the oil. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, remove the skillet from the heat and arrange the patties in a single layer in the skillet. Return the skillet to the heat and cook, undisturbed, for 5 to 6 minutes. Rotate the patties a quarter turn and cook until cooked through, 3 to 5 more minutes. Use a metal spatula to flip the patties on their second sides and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and place 2 slices of American cheese on each patty. Let the patties rest in the skillet so the cheese melts.
  5. Arrange the roll bottoms on a work surface and top with lettuce. Top the lettuce with the patties, spoon some of the chutney and black beans on each and finish with the roll tops.