Food & Swine

Sour Apple Pork Burgers


As many of you know, I’ll be travelling to compete in Sutter Home Winery’s “Build a Better Burger” national cook-off in May in Napa, CA.  This weekend I’ll be practicing my recipe as the weather is finally fit for having the grill outdoors and after my baking classes on Saturday I’ve got some down time.

I need to make up for lost time in practicing since we’ve had such rotten weather.  I’ve made the burger and am comfortable with the process and I do love to eat it (of course!) but I need to get outside and GRILL.

The pictures I’m using here are from Gary Fandel, an amazing photographer that came to photograph me grilling up this burger a while back.  He works for Farm Bureau and recently I was featured in their Family Living Magazine.  Thanks for the pictures, Gary!

This pork burger has a little bit of most of my favorite things and is inspired by one of my favorite fall meals of pork loin with apples.  The apple butter/wine glazed pork burger is laced with apples, wine and seasonings and has spicy apple candied bacon, Maytag Farms White Cheddar Cheese, potato chip crusted onion haystacks and quickly sautéed sour apples on it.  Yes, quite a few steps but I swear I am always surprised at how easily it comes together.  For the complete recipe, click here.  (*You’ll be taken to the Sutter Home official site where they have my recipe so nicely put together.)

My mouth is watering… the onion ‘rings’ set this burger apart for me.  I love them.


BURGERS & WINE?  Oh yes… and don’t forget a bottle of Sutter Home Chenin Blanc to go with the burger.  It IS totally necessary.

I’m so excited to compete in this cook-off.  The organizers are second to none, giving out the royal treatment and can I just say that they are also FAMOUS?!  I had a conference call with them and they were so nice. I loved it. Also, the other people competing are so talented (geesh, did you look at their recipes?!) I must step up my game! This Iowa girl is going out to give it a try, hopefully I’ll woo the judges (or at least get the burger completely made in the 90 minutes we’re given) and maybe even win a few bucks while I’m out there. (there are awards for First Prize $15,000, 2nd $500, 3rd $250 and $2,500 peoples choice)  #1 goal: Convince people that pork burgers can be creative and delicious!

Mixing up the pork burger base… I’ll say I’m usually pretty generous with the wine!  And YES, I am NOT measuring… ahhhh such a bad habit of mine!  I will definitely be measuring everything at the cook-off!


I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  I need to become a grill-maven!  Any tips for me?

Have a great weekend!

Here’s my daughter trying to take a huge bite of this burger that was easily larger than her head.  She was ticked off she couldn’t get her tiny little mouth around it.  Oh well, she still made a point to destroy her shirt with porky-juices, apple butter and bacon grease.  Joy!


For more amazing pork recipes visit

Cristen’s Sour Apple Pork Burger Recipe

*This is not a sponsored post, ideas and opinions are my own of course!

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  • Reply Christine Wulf March 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Congrats on being a finalist! How exciting!

    Christine Wulf


  • Reply Lisa B March 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    This. Looks. Amazing. Yum!

  • Reply Jennifer Flaa (@JeniEats) March 29, 2014 at 12:14 am

    How exciting! Hope you have a good trip and I’ll be wishing you luck. I would totally eat a pork burger. Chenin blanc is one of my favorites, too.

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