Wine Varietal: White Zinfandel
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon honey mustard
2 pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
1/2 cup ground fennel seeds
1/4 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
3 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 bulb)
12 slices (1 ounce) ciabatta bread
6 slices Monterrey Jack cheese
2 cups Argula
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise and honey mustard in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To make the patties, combine the chuck, fennel seeds, cumin, black pepper, garlic and salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Make a depression in the center with your thumb so the burger won’t bulge; the indent will rise as the patty cooks.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the fennel slices on the grill and sear each side until lightly charred; approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill; cover and set aside. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover and cook, turning once, until medium (with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. using an instant-read thermometer in the center of the patty); approximately 7 minutes on each side.
During the last few minutes of grilling, place the ciabatta bread on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice. Remove the burger and buns from the grill for assembly.
To assemble the burgers, spread the mayonnaise over one side of each ciabatta slice. On each ciabatta bottom slice (on top of the mayonnaise), place a patty, two heaping tablespoons of fennel, and the argula (approximately 1/4 cup). Add the roll tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.