Note: Prepackaged ground pork is fine in this recipe, but I like to use a fattier cut, like shoulder or boneless country-style pork ribs. Grind the pork at home, or have your butcher do it for you.
About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blogs High Heels & Frijoles and Cookin' and Shootin'.
Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite. Read about her cravings and suffer through her rants on Twitter @HHandFrijoles and see her constant stream of food images on Instagram: mdmsacasa
- Yield:Makes 4 sandwiches
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 1 pound ground pork (see note above)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, split in half and thinly sliced from pole to pole (about 2 cups)
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
- 8 slices sturdy white sandwich bread
- 12 slices Swiss cheese, torn in half
Season pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and work into pork using hands. Divide pork into 4 equal portions and form each into a thin patty the shape of a slice of bread.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add patties and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to plate.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now empty skillet. Add onion, fennel, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to char, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and vinegar and cook an additional 2 minutes. Season to taste and transfer mixture to bowl.
Reduce heat to medium. Melt additional 2 1/2 tablespoons butter in now empty skillet, swirling pan to evenly distribute butter. Place 4 bread slices in skillet. Top each slice with 1 1/2 slices cheese. Top 2 of the slices with 1/4 onion-fennel mixture, then a pork patty. Once cheese starts to melt, flip cheese-topped bread slices onto pork patties and press down gently with spatula. Cook, turning once, until bread is golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board and repeat procedure with remaining butter, cheese, onion-fennel mixture, and pork patties. Serve immediately.