Grilled Cubano Burgers
with zucchini / pineapple spears
Fire up the grill (or stovetop!) for these pork burgers inspired by classic Cubano sandwiches. While the grill is hot, add some zucchini and pineapple spears to serve on the side.
- Ham, deli-sliced (opt) - 1/4 lb , finely chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Pork, ground and lean - 1 lb
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Cheese, Swiss - 4 slices
- Hamburger buns - 4
- Mustard and mayo - for serving
- Pickles, any sliced - for serving
Grilled Zucchini and Pineapple Spears:
- Zucchini - 1 lb , sliced into spears
- Pineapple, fresh - 1 lb , sliced into spears
- Ham / Garlic - Chop ham and garlic and combine. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Zucchini / Pineapple - Slice zucchini and pineapple lengthwise into spears. Store separately. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Make burger patties - Mix ground pork, ham, garlic, salt and black pepper. Form into 0.5” / 1.3cm thick patties and press thumb into center of the patty, forming a little crater. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
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- If cooking on a grill: Heat up grill to 500F / 260C, keeping one part of grill over direct heat and one part over indirect. Clean grates and brush with some oil. Grill patties for 2 minutes on each side over direct heat. Season with some salt and pepper as the patties cook. Then move patties to indirect heat, and add zucchini and pineapple to direct heat. Continue grilling until patties are cooked through and zucchini and pineapple are tender and have grill marks on all sides, ~5 to 6 minutes more for all components. In the last minute of cooking, top patties with cheese slices.
- If cooking on stovetop / oven: Turn on the oven’s broiler. Place zucchini and pineapple on a sheet pan brushed with some oil. Season zucchini with some salt. Broil on each side until zucchini is tender and pineapple is golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes total.
- If cooking on stovetop / oven: Brush a grill pan over medium-high heat with some oil, and then grill patties for 2 minutes on each side. Season with some salt and pepper as the patties cook. Then lower heat to medium and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes for medium, and 5 to 6 minutes for well-done. In the last minute of cooking, top patties with cheese slices.
- If you’d like the hamburger buns toasted, toast them on grill / grill pan or under the broiler.
- Assemble burgers by spreading mustard and / or mayo on buns. Top them with patties and finish with sliced pickles. Enjoy burgers with zucchini and pineapple on the side.