Battle of the Burgers recipe: German Cuban pork burger

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

“My German Cuban Pork Burger is THE BIGGEST BADDEST burger out there because it’s not your regular lame everyday burger. Serve these burgers to your friends and family and THEY will tell you that these German Cuban Pork Burgers are not only PORKALICIOUS but THE BIGGEST BADDEST AND BEST BURGERS OF ALL TIME!!!!” --Robert Burmeister, Staten Island, N.Y.

German Cuban pork burger

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Total time: 1 1/2 hours

Servings: 6

Note: From Robert Burmeister of Staten Island, N.Y.

4 pounds ground pork

3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 (12 ounce) jar spicy brown mustard, divided

6 fresh bratwurst links

1 pound bacon, diced

1 onion, diced

1 (14 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained

1 cup butter, at room temperature

6 pretzel buns or regular hamburger buns, halved

2 large sliced dill pickles

1/2 pound sliced Swiss cheese

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, relish and a tablespoon of mustard. (The relish keeps the pork moist.) Do not overwork, but mix until ingredients are evenly combined. Divide the meat into 6 portions and form the burgers, matching the size to the buns.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place the burgers, then the bratwurst links, on the grill to start cooking.

3. While the burgers and links are grilling, start the bacon. In a skillet heated over medium-high heat until hot (use a cast iron skillet if cooking on the grill), render the bacon, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Add chopped onion to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, stirring frequently, 6 to 8 minutes.

4. Stir in the sauerkraut with the bacon and onions, cooking down the mixture to marry the flavors. Continue to cook until the hamburgers and sausages are grilled on all sides, another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the burgers, sausages and skillet from the heat, setting all aside to keep them warm. Cut the bratwurst into thin crosswise slices.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and remaining mustard; this makes about 2 cups spread, slightly more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The mustard butter will keep for 1 to 2 weeks, covered and refrigerated.

6. Spread or brush the mustard butter over the cut halves of each bun (about 2 tablespoons per half, depending on the size of the bun). Toast the buns on the cooler side of the grill or on the grill pan.

7. Assemble the burgers: Mound the sliced bratwurst on top of each burger (1 bratwurst per burger), then top with the sliced pickle, kraut, bacon and onion mixture. Divide the sliced Swiss cheese among the burgers, coveringeach mound of toppings with cheese. Place the burgers back on the grill or on the grill pan, closing the grill or covering the pan with a large roasting pan until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. (You can also melt the cheese by placing the burgers on a baking sheet in a hot oven.)

8. Place the assembled burgers in the toasted buns and serve immediately.

Each burger: 1,773 calories; 88 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 136 grams fat; 58 grams saturated fat; 406 mg cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 3,012 mg. sodium.