Fennel Seed Beef Burgers with Grilled Fennel Slices, Shallot and Sweet Chili Sauce


2 tablespoons fennel seed
2 pounds freshly ground chuck, around 24% fat content
3 teaspoons salt
7 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into slices (keeping as intact as possible)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 curry naan breads, cut in half (available at Trader Joe\\\’s)



Preheat gas grill to medium high. Grind fennel seed with bottom of spoon in bottom of large mixing bowl. Add ground chuck, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of Asian sweet chili sauce and combine with hands, handling the mixture as little as possible to avoid compacting. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, forming the portions into patties to fit the naan; set aside on plate. In small pan, place fennel slices and brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning slices to coat both sides. Sprinkle fennel slices with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Brush the grill with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place fennel slices on side of grill and cook for 4 minutes. Simultaneously, place patties on center of grill and cook for 4 minutes over direct heat with grill top closed. Turn fennel slices over with tongs. Turn patties with spatula and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 160 degrees F, about 4 minutes longer. During the last 2 minutes of grilling the fennel and patties, place the naan halves on outer rim of grill to toast, remove from grill and set aside on plate. Remove fennel slices from grill and set aside on plate. Spread sliced shallots on bottom of medium-sized pan. Remove patties from grill, place on top of sliced shallots and let rest for 5 minutes. To assemble the burgers, spread 6 halves of naan with 1/2 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce followed by grilled fennel slices and sliced shallots, divided equally among naan. Place the patties and shallots on top of each prepared naan. Spread additional 1/2 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce on remaining 6 naan halves. Place naan halves on top of each patty, serve immediately and enjoy!