Besides stubbing my toe, nothing enrages me quite like accidentally buying a low-fat version of a product I love. I still haven’t forgiven myself for the Low-Fat Sour Cream Incident of 2016, and I don’t know that I ever will. A similar rage almost overtook me recently when I grabbed a package of extra lean ground beef instead of my usual 80/20, but then I remembered the magic of ground pork.
If anyone could start a burger-centric cult, it would be Chef Chris Kronner of KronnerBurger. His obsession is our reward, and he’s poured years of experimentation and professional experience into A Burger to Believe In — a veritable opus of burger-focused recipes and tips.
Most sausage-grade pork contains a fair amount of fat (around 25-30%), making it a perfect partner for even the saddest, leanest beef.
Mixing equal parts by mass of the two meats gives you a fatty blend that won’t dry out during long cooking times, making it ideal for dishes like meatloaf. It also makes a great meatball, because pork and tomato are two great tastes that taste great together.
If you’re a burger purist, this combination might not thrill you at first, but I prefer to look at the shift in flavour profile as an opportunity to explore new toppings. I rarely stray from classic toppings on an all-beef burger, but a pork-and-beef hybrid frees me from these restraints. (Try it with miso-butter mushrooms and crispy shallots.)
The mix o’ meat can also help shake up taco night, particularly if you are a fan of crispy shell taco kit tacos.
So next time you or a loved one returns from the store with an unintended allotment of lean beef, don’t fret. Practice forgiveness, grab some ground pork, and make a meatloaf. Meatloaf is healing, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.