Pulled Pork Burgers

Pulled Pork Burgers

Here is my third addition to the growing tradition of Burger Sunday at my flat.
Last Friday I had a sibling date with my brother. Basically I bribed him with free burgers in order to make me feel like less of a loner. We visited this new place in Ponsonby Central, Burger Burger, where I enveloped with my mouth the most delicious pulled pork burger. I felt like this wonder needed to be brought to the masses so here is my take on this mind-boggling burger. Add more pork if you wish, there is plenty of spice rub to go around, just make sure you add enough water to just reach the top piece of pork in the slow cooker. I made my barbecue sauce the night before as it gives it time for the flavour to develop as well as allowing it to thicken. Make your own buns if you’ve got the time or find some nice soft ones at the supermarket.


Serves 6

Pulled pork:
  • 1 kg pork shoulder chop, fat trimmed

  • 2 large onions, sliced

  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 330ml beer

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • Bunch of coriander

  • Spice rub (below)

  • ½ cup Barbecue sauce (below)

Spice rub:
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon each of ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika

  • 1 ½ teaspoons each of: oregano, smoked paprika, salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Barbecue sauce:
  • 1 splash olive oil

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons crushed chillies

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder

  • ¼ cup malt/cider/white/red wine vinegar

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 1 cup (or a large tin) of tomato sauce

  • 2-3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt to taste

To serve:
  • Shredded red cabbage

  • Mayo (don’t skimp – make sure you invest in Best Foods)

  • Fresh coriander

  • Caramelised onions

  • 420g high-grade flour

  • 1 sachet of instant yeast (8g)

  • 40g white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 170ml milk

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 egg, separated

  • 30g butter, cubed, room temperature

  • Egg white

  • Sesame seeds or salt flakes to garnish


  1. To make the barbecue sauce, sauté the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat until translucent. Then add the garlic, chilli and spices. Cook for a few minutes before adding the tomato paste, stir, then add in the vinegar, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt, and simmer while stirring for 15 minutes. Leave to cool then refrigerate.

  2. Start the pork just over nine hours before you want to serve it. Mix together the rub ingredients and rub into the pork chops. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat with a splash of oil and sear both sides of the meat pieces for about a minute each side. Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork over the top, sprinkle over the salt and sugar and any remaining spice rub. Pour over the beer and water and leave to cook on high for nine hours, stirring every couple if you are around. Once the meat starts falling off the bone, tear it apart with two forks and leave to cook until the sauce has thickened. At this point stir in the barbecue sauce and leave to cook for the remaining time that is left.

  3. To make the buns, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the lemon juice to the milk and let it sit for five minutes so it curdles. Mix this into the dry mix followed by the egg white and then the yolk. Stir until the dough comes together. Add the butter in small pieces and knead it into the dough, only adding the next piece when the previous piece has been totally incorporated. Knead for around 15 minutes then leave to rise in a bowl covered in glad wrap in a warm place for a couple of hours. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down then split it into six (you will make more buns than patties). Gently form smooth balls and leave to rise a second time on a baking tray lined with baking paper for another hour. The other alternative is to warm your oven to 50 degrees then turn it off and leaving the buns to rise in the oven’s residual heat. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees, mix the egg white with a splash of water and brush liberally over the buns. Sprinkle the tops with salt flakes or sesame seeds then bake for 15–18 minutes until they are golden and make a hollow sound when tapped. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before slicing open.

  4. To serve, spread the heel of the bun with barbecue sauce and caramelised onion followed by a spoonful of pork. Top with coriander and cabbage. Line the Crown of the bun with mayo and place it on the top of this king of all burgers.
This article first appeared in Issue 17, 2014.
Posted 10:15pm Sunday 27th July 2014 by Sophie Edmonds.