Everything from the original mini burgers to pulled pork, chicken and bean patties are showing up in sliders—the “it” appetizer of the moment. Here, chef Therres puts bacon and blue cheese between the buns. The pear ketchup’s tangy flavor perfectly balances the richness of the bacon and cheese.
2 Anjou pears
2 tsp. clarified butter or oil
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup clear apple juice or cider
2 to 4 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
12 slices thick-cut bacon, well-chilled or frozen
3 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
8 small soft rolls, preferably brioche
- Prepare pear ketchup: Peel and core pears and cut into large cubes. Warm butter or oil in saucepan over med. heat. Add onions; cook until translucent.
- Add pears and stir to coat with butter or oil. Add apple cider and cook over low heat until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Set aside to cool.
- Puree pear mixture until completely smooth; Add 2 tbsp. vinegar to taste. (Ketchup should be tangy to help balance bacon and cheese.) Add white pepper and vinegar to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Keep bacon slices together and cut bacon slab into several large chunks. Refrigerate or freeze the chunks until very firm. (This will help keep the grind uniform, like ground beef.)
- In food processor, chop bacon until finely ground. Crumble the blue cheese into ground bacon and form mixture into eight 2-in. patties.
- Place patties on baking sheet or in cast iron skillet. Cook 10 min; turn burgers and cook another 10 to 15 min., or until internal temperature is 170°F.
- To serve, split rolls, toast if desired and spread one side with ketchup. Insert bacon sliders.