From: Chef John Therres, The M Bar, Washington, D.C. Yield: 8 sliders.
2 Anjou pears
2 tsp. clarified butter
¼ cup diced sweet onion
1 cup clear apple juice or cider
2-4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
⅛ tsp. white pepper
to taste, kosher salt
12 slices thick-cut bacon, well-chilled or frozen
3 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
8 small soft rolls, preferably brioche
For Pear Ketchup: Peel and core the pears and cut them into large cubes. Warm the clarified butter or oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent. Add pears and stir to coat with the butter or oil. Add the apple cider and cook over low heat until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Set aside to cool.
Puree the mixture until completely smooth, and then add 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Taste. Ketchup should be tangy to help balance the fattiness of the bacon and cheese. Add white pepper and salt to taste.
For Sliders: Preheat oven to 350°F. Use a food processor to chop bacon. Keep slices together and cut the bacon slab into several large chunks. Refrigerate or freeze chunks until very firm. This will help keep the grind uniform, like ground beef. Crumble blue cheese into the ground bacon and form the mixture into 8 2"-patties.
Place patties on baking sheet or in cast iron skillet and cook for 10 minutes. Turn burgers over and cook another 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 170°F.
To serve: Split the roll, toast if desired and spread one side with the ketchup.