A couple of years ago, my mom, dad, and I went out to Harbour Town in Hilton Head to The Quarterdeck for cocktails after work on a warm, summer day. We got a great table on the patio and we got a few oysters on the half shell to share and drinks. My mom and I then decided to split a burger, one with crispy oysters and pork belly and melty cheese. It was probably one of the top 3 burgers I’ve ever had in my life. Since then, we have been recreating those burgers at home, normally with Nueske’s bacon because pork belly still can be hard to find – but when I found it the other day in Whole Foods, I brought a pound home with me and knew exactly what I wanted to make.
I decided that instead of doing crispy oysters I would just put my favorite pimento cheese right on top of the burger and add this delicious pork belly. If you can’t find pork belly, feel free to use bacon or even pancetta. Although the flavors won’t be exactly the same, I’m sure it would still be delicious. This recipe will likely yield a little extra in the way of pork belly, which is definitely not a bad thing. Eat some on it’s own, make a sandwich, or serve it alongside eggs just as you would bacon. I’ll also be featuring it in another recipe coming up soon, so be sure to check back!
Pimento Cheese and Pork Belly Burgers
For the Pimento Cheese click here.
For the Pork Belly:
(Adapted from Richard Blais’ Try This At Home)
1 lb of pork belly
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper
For the burgers:
To begin, prepare the pimento cheese and set in the fridge until ready to use. Next, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and take out the pork belly. Season both sides with salt and pepper. On the meat side, rub the dijon mustard and then top with the brown sugar. Place the meat side down on a double piece of foil (the rind, or the skin should be facing up) and wrap tightly like a pouch. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 2-3 hours. Take out and let the pork belly cool then wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge overnight.
To prepare the pork belly, take the slab and remove the rind. Cut into slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Over medium high heat, fry the slices of pork belly on both sides, about a minute per side, until crispy but still tender. Take out and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
For the burgers, combine the onion powder, salt, and pepper into the ground beef. Portion out the burgers into rounds. Either pan fry or grill to desired done-ness. Before completely done, place 2-3 Tbsp of pimento cheese (more or less depending upon your preference) on top of the burgers and let melt. Meanwhile, toast the buns with a mixture of mayonnaise and butter under the broiler or on the grill.
To assemble, place a burger with the pimento cheese on top of the bottom bun and then top with 2-3 slices of pork belly. If desired, place the lettuce, tomato, or onion on top and close with the other bun. Serve immediately.