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The Bend Magazine

The Bend Burger

03/26/2021 09:41AM ● By Kayla Butts

By: Kayla & Justin Butts  Photos by: Rachel Benavides

To build the perfect burger you must begin with the meat—in this case, with pork and beef. On our farm, we have experimented with hundreds of burgers using different combinations of grass-fed beef and pastured pork. Our favorite mix is a one-to-one ratio of ground beef to ground pork. The richness of flavor in pastured pork balances perfectly with the lean wholesomeness of grass-fed beef. And this protein is not a guilty pleasure, but a healthy part of a good diet.

Deglazing the pan with red wine after the burger cooks is the secret to this recipe. The best part of a burger is the browned bits left in the pan, and the red wine reduction intensifies this flavor into a beautiful glaze that adds a robust kick.

Making your own homemade pickles is like adding your personal signature to your burger. These sweet and spicy pickles add a spark of tanginess that can’t be duplicated with store-bought varieties. And your homemade pickles taste better the longer they rest in the refrigerator.

Tomatoes are now ripening and turning red on the vine. Look for good Roma tomatoes whose texture and flavor will hold up to this hearty burger. There is no lettuce in this recipe because lettuce is now out of season.

Top your burger with 10/15 sweet onions from your garden or a local farm. This onion variety is named 10/15 because they were planted around October 15th and have spent the last six months developing sweetness in the soil. You can sauté your onions in homemade butter to increase their sweetness, or serve them fresh to keep a little of their bite.

Aioli is homemade mayonnaise that is fast and easy to make. To prepare avocado aioli, simply combine your ripe avocados, garlic, and farm fresh eggs in the food processor and blend for one minute. The zesty flavor of the aioli is more than worth the few minutes of effort.

This burger deserves a bun substantial enough to hold it all together. Kaiser rolls from the supermarket hold up well and are especially nice toasted with butter.

We call this “The Bend Burger” because all of the ingredients can be found growing locally in the Coastal Bend. This dish is simple, healthy, easy to prepare, and will make you fall in love with burgers all over again.

Now that we have our burger, let the summer begin.


Serves: 4

Prep time: 2 minutes 

Cook time: 20 minutes 


1 lb ground grass- fed beef (preferably sirloin)

1 lb ground pork (look for local pastured pork)

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup dry red wine


Combine first five ingredients, taking care not to over-mix the pork and beef, which will cause a mushy texture. Form into four half-pound patties.

Add patties to a large, preheated sauté pan on medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, until outside has developed a nice brown crust, or internal temperature has reached 160°F for well-done burgers. Remove burgers from pan. 

Increase heat to high and add red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon until all the browned bits have been removed. Cook until alcohol is cooked out and reduction is the consistency of thin syrup. Pour reduction over burger patties.

Serve burgers on a toasted Kaiser bun, with caramelized onions, homemade pickles, tomato, and avocado aioli. 


Serves: 10-12

Prep Time: 3 minutes


1 avocado

2 garlic cloves, peeled 

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 whole egg Directions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend on medium until smooth, or for about one minute.