Pork Burger with Blue Cheese & Caramelised Pears

Burger with Gongorzola - recipe-

It's a strange feeling to realise that an inanimate object has been following you for a little while. I am not referring to a chair shadowing you in the street, stopping when you do or running along for the bus, that would be really bizarre. I am referring to "things" virtually popping up at different stages of your life, "things" insisting on being noticed when you don't feel much association with them.

Prork and cheese recipe

When we were in Costa-Rica, we got stranded in a small town where all hotels were closed, buses to anywhere had long departed and darkness was closing in. We walked along the edge of a primitive forest, hoping to find somewhere to stay. There was a camp but it was closed. Banging on the door, we raised Sarah, the manageress who reluctantly offered us a room.
That night, I sat watching her partner preparing and barbequing blue burgers, listening to his life story of digging ancient artefacts, seducing beautiful women, while He walk back through the forest with Sarah looking for her lost kitten and some beer.
I stored the episode in my travel memories treasure box until I came across my first editor, Sally, who blog on Pinch my Salt. She once ran a piece on "Blue Cheese Burger", the recipe reminded me so much of the "midnight" burger that I left a comment.
6 years later, I still get regular follow-up comments. Now this is an achievement, to get comments for so long.  The blue burger recipe should have died by now instead it was attracting my attention every now and then
So when I got a press invitation to spend an evening cooking with Gorgonzola which included making succulent Gorgonzola burgers, I decided to face my stalker, and once more sink my teeth in it.
but first some Gorgonzola facts:
  • Gorgonzola originates from the north of Italy
  • It's a white cheese with greenish streaks from a process called erborinatura". It's creamy with a slight tang. Gorgonzola picante is more blue veined and crumbly.
  • It was given a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status in 1996.
  • It's recognised with the "G" mark embossed on the foil

Pork Burger with Blue Cheese and Caramelised Pears
recipe reproduced with permission
Pork burger with cheese recipe

For the meat
1kg Pork mince
10g Maldon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Shallots
2 garlic cloves
10 leaf of sage
100g bread crumbs
Cayenne pepper to taste

For the garnish
2 whole pears
200g caster sugar
100cl water
1 whole red chili
2 stars anise
200g gorgonzola
6 brioches

For the burger mix Peel and finely chop the garlic and shallot. Discard the stalk from the sage and finely chop the leaves. Add all of these ingredients to the pork mince along with the salt and pepper.

In a bowl whisk together the breadcrumbs and water. Add to the pork mince. Mix well in the bowl, seperate a little patty ready for testing so you can check the flavour and seasoning of your burger mix.
When ready divide the mix into 12 and shape into a nice patty. Heat a pan on to a medium heat and fry on 1 side for 1 minute. After a minute one side of the mini burger will be golden brown, turn over and colour for a further 30 seconds before covering with a lid, at this point turn the heat down and leave covered for 2 minutes. Take the lid off, turn the burger over again and place a slice of Gorgonzola on top. Cover again and continue to cook for a further minute. This will allow the cheese to begin to melt. Serve straight away in your mini brioche buns

For the garnish

Peel the pears. Slice the chilli in half lengthways.
Place the pears into a deep pan with the chilli, star anise and sugar and water. Cover with a cartouche. Poach on a medium heat heat for an hour or two, depending on the ripeness of the pears. When cooked remove from the heat and allow to cool in the liquer.
When ready slice the pears and remove the core. Fry in a pan with a little olive oil and use a garnish inside your burger.

top photo reproduced with permission Credit to Anthony Charlton from In-Press Photography

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