Slammin’ Ham & Swiss Burgers with Pineapple Honey Mustard Salsa

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

A favorite sandwich sold at a local food store



2 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple (reserve 3 tablespoons for burgers)

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

1 tablespoon finely diced green pepper

1 tablespoon finely diced red pepper

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup prepared honey mustard salad dressing


1 1/2 pounds ground smoked ham (ground in small batches in a food processor or a hand-cranked meat grinder)

1 pound ground pork

1 egg

3 tablespoons reserved chopped pineapple

3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1-2 dashes Liquid Smoke, if needed (to taste)

Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack

6 slices Swiss cheese

1/4 cup butter, softened

6 whole wheat Kaiser rolls, split

1/2 cup prepared honey mustard dressing

6 (1/4 inch thick) large tomato slices

1 5 ounce bag baby arugula


To prepare salsa:

In a medium bowl, combine chopped fresh pineapple, red onion, green pepper, red pepper, pineapple juice and honey mustard dressing. Mix well. Cover and set aside until serving time.

Prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or pre-heat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

To make patties:

In a large bowl, combine the ground ham, ground pork, egg, pineapple, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, mustard and cloves. At this point, add the liquid smoke if desired. Mix well with hands, handling the meat mixture as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions, forming into patties that are slightly larger than the rolls, making a slight indentation in the middle of each so the cooked patty stays flat.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack. close the grill cover and cook, turning once, until done, 6-8 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. During the last few minutes of cooking, place a slice of swiss cheese over each patty. Close the grill cover and cook until the cheese is melted. Remove the patties to a platter and cover with a foil tent to retain heat.

Spread softened butter on the cut sides of each roll and place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble burgers:

Spread (or “drizzle”) the cut sides of each toasted roll with honey mustard dressing. On each roll bottom, place a patty, 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pineapple salsa, a tomato slice and a generous “bunch” of arugula. Add top rolls and serve.