6 freshly baked Kaiser rolls, split
One medium onion
10 slices crystallized ginger
5 T butter
6 large leaves of Bibb lettuce
3/4 pound piece of smoked Swiss or smoked Gouda cheese
2 large Bartlett pears–ripe but still firm (not mushy)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt
1.5 pounds 80/20 ground chuck
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil-approx 3 T to brush grill
Preheat grill to medium high.
Thinly slice the onion into rings. Slice the ginger into matchstick-size strips (approx. 1/2 cup or so) and place with onion slices on a piece of foil. Dot with the butter and fold up the foil to create a packet. Grill for 7-10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the butter is melted but not too browned. Remove packet and use a pastry brush to apply the flavored, melted butter onto all cut surfaces of the Kaiser rolls. Re-seal packet to keep warm.
Rinse and pat dry the lettuce–set aside. Cut the smoked cheese into 1/4 inch slices. Rinse and dry the pears, leaving the skin on. Cut the pears lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Reserve the largest 6 slices for topping the patties, removing any stem or core with seeds.
With the remaining pear slices, remove the skin and core, coarsely chopping the pear–this should result in about 3/4 cup of chopped pear. Blend the chopped pear with the beaten egg, bread crumbs, ground ginger and salt. Handling gently to avoid too much compacting, blend the egg/pear mixture with the ground chuck. Form into 6 patties and generously grind fresh pepper on top of each patty.
Brush grill with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill, cover and grill for about 2-3 minutes. After turning over patties, place a slice of pear and enough of the thick cheese slices to cover each patty. Cover and grill for 2 minutes–open and place buns cut side down to slightly toast them. Grill covered another 3 minutes or so until the cheese is softened and is starting to melt a little.
To Build–place some of the grilled onion and ginger mixture on the bottom part of the roll. Place the cheese-covered patty and then the Bibb lettuce on top, cover with the toasted top bun and ENJOY!