Burgers & Brews + RECIPE: Ginger Pork Burgers

Was it just a holiday? Did I hear something about a long weekend happening? I can’t be quite sure because I was doing my best to avoid Instagram altogether while sweating out 150+ ounces of water daily from the 90+ degree fields.

 

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For us, it wasn’t so much a relaxing weekend as it was a long, hot, sweaty, draining blur of days spent over at Raleigh’s Hillside Farm but we got so much work done and can finally feel the end of the transplant season approaching, almost ready to give way to CSA celebrations and abundant harvests. (In fact last week we did our very first small personal harvest ,and I have been over the moon about all the greens. The bok choy, kale, lettuce and spinach have never been more beautiful and I’m having fun eating salads that taste like home).

Luckily the sun, though warm, has been a truly energizing force. We somehow have been pulling 10 hour days and still finding enough time for hikes (okay, leisurely strolls), collaborations, naps in the backyard, grilling, cans of wine, and even a trip to Deforest to visit a perfect new baby.

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It’s been a long stretch of long days but we know the end is near. Soon we should earn back at least one of our weekend days. The heavy rains today let us catch our breath a bit and by Saturday we should have all the beans, tomatoes, herbs and eggplant in the ground (alongside the eleven other fields have already planted). We’re going to celebrate with a trip to Madison for Burgers & Brew: our own kick off to summer!

 

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Memorial Day always seems to come a little too soon for us to really do anything fun, but one week later, the infamous local extravaganza of burgers and craft beer always fits into our schedule just fine. I’m so overjoyed to spend a leisurely Sunday sampling bites from great Madison restaurants (hey Suejo, Banzo, Merchant and Dotty’s, I’m talking to you!), treats from Madison Sourdough, and beverages from Untitled Art, Giant Jones Brewing and Restoration Cider while mingling with good people, and listening to an old-time string collective at an open air beer garden.

If that all sounds like a dream to you, join us!

There are still tickets available and the proceeds go to support an organization doing amazing things for our local community. Through its Farm to School program, REAP Food Group brings fresh, local, sustainably produced food to children. And this couldn’t be more exciting to us. After six years, we just got our first bag of spinach into a local school district!

 

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If you can’t make it out to Burgers & Brews this weekend, play along at home with this fun recipe for pork burgers balanced with some of my favorite Asian ingredients. Ramps, shallots, ginger and fresh mint find their way into the pork patties before they get grilled. A sauce of mayo, hoisin and sriracha is then slathered onto a soft, toasted bun. Things are finished off with a bright crunchy cabbage salad. This burger is one for the books!

Love,
Your Leek

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GINGER PORK BURGERS

Serves 4
Takes 30 minutes

1 small (or 1/2 large) shallot, minced
2-4 ramps (or scallions), white and green portions, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Red Cabbage Salad (below)
Spicy Mayo (below)
Toasted hamburger buns (the lighter and fluffier the better)

  1. In a large bowl, combine shallots, ramps, mint and garlic. Add pork followed by salt, sesame oil and pepper. Use your hands to mix ingredients together uniformly and then shape into four patties.
  2. Grill burgers over medium heat until cooked to your liking; we usually do 8-10 minutes for medium well.
  3. Spread mayo on toasted hamburger buns. Add burger followed by cabbage salad.

Red Cabbage Salad
2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

  1. In a small bowl, toss cabbage together with vinegar, oil, soy sauce and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  2. Store separate from burgers for up to a week.

Spicy Mayo
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1-2 teaspoons sriracha (based on your heat preference)
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until smooth.

 

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