Enter the beef slider, the little burger that could ….
I know they’ve been all the trend for awhile, but there is good reason for it. Firstly, in an ethical and more conscious world, we don’t need to be eating 16 ounces of meat at a sitting. Really, a 3-ounce burger is perfect with a nice side salad. Heck, it’s not even ‘bad.’ But if you want to be bad — because, after all, it is Friday night — make the sliders a bit smaller (I opt for 2½ ounces), skip the salad, and eat two sliders and complement them with a good beer. But trust me, there is no “washing” these babies down. They’re juicy goodness on their own. Savour them ….
The inspiration came after I made my own ridiculously good Green Cherry-Tomato Ketchup a few weeks ago. What was I going to put it on that was worthy? (I couldn’t in good conscience just keep eating ketchup from the bottle, after all ….)
And yes, these were amazing — but you can make them too: there is nothing to the perfect slider. You don’t need fillers and you don’t need a ton of weird crap either. All it takes is some very good ground beef, ideally a (organic) grass-fed, ground chuck or sirloin; something with no more 20% fat, but 15% would be perfect. The excess fat is why people and companies put fillers in their meat … and it’s also why they fall apart when they cook. Don’t cheap out on the meat!
I kept these burgers plain because I wanted to taste the beef and the green ketchup. The other fixings are just for a bit of Friday night sin…. A little Montreal steak spice is a great seasoning on beef burgers as well, but you can easily win with just salt and pepper. If you don’t have a great condiment you want to try out (like my green ketchup), then by all means put on it whatever you want. The grilled bacon? Easy-peasy. The only trick is choose a leaner bacon, make sure your grill is clean, and watch, watch, watch your bacon: it only takes a 15-second flare up to go from “Is this thing on?” to “Call 9-1-1!” But trust me, bacon grills awesome, you just need to guard it from fire and bacon thieves.
And yes, I made these cute little buns myself. I know, this recipe would be more complete if I included the recipe to make the slider buns, but I’ll confess: I made these buns a little while ago and they’ve been waiting in my freezer for a fast dinner night. I suspect most of you will opt to buy the buns anyway, but I promise, I’ll include the recipe in the future and be sure to document the step-by-step process.
For now, go out and get some dinner rolls, throw some sliders on the cue, and have a great Friday night.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10+10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Beef Sliders with Barbecued Bacon and Cheddar
- 1¼ pounds (600g) lean ground chuck or sirloin, chilled
→ 15% fat
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- Montreal steak spice
- 1/2 lb (225g) lean, double-smoked bacon
- 2-4 ounces of aged cheddar, grated
- Green ketchup
- Freshly sliced tomato
- Slider buns
- Preheat your grill to about 375ºF.
- Grill the bacon for roughly 3-5 minutes, watching constantly to protect from flareups.
- Flip the bacon and grill for another 3-5 minutes — but, in doing so, flip the ‘fat’ to the other side of the grill to prevent flareups under your bacon. Trust me … bacon burns.
- Prepare the slider buns (butter and grill them if you like), cut the bacon into 2″ (5cm) strips, and grate the cheddar.
- Mix the meat with the grated onion and spices. I recommend using the the small grater or a rasp. Just be careful of your fingers. I then mince up the last bit of onion I can’t move through the grater — your choice. Either way, the onion pulp and liquid work well to season the meat.
- Using a kitchen scale (if you have one) weigh out 2½ ounce portions of seasoned meat, roughly 2 heaping tablespoons per patty. Shape the patties in the palm of your hand and squeeze till they are uniform.
- Dimple the middle of the slider patty with your thumb. This will ensure an even cooking and so that your burger doesn’t ‘puff’ up.
The recipe should produce around 10 slider patties, depending on what size you make yours. Don’t worry. It’s not an exact science, but try to make them all the same size so they cook evenly.
Season the patties and voila. Sliders are ready to grill.
- Grill the sliders for 4-5 minutes on one side.
Flip burgers …