Sliders aka Mini Burger Recipe
Sliders seem to have invaded more than a few menus lately and that’s a good thing ’cause I love them.
If I have one complaint about restaurant sliders it’s the limitations. For instance, usually there’s only one kind of slider on the menu. On the rare occasion that there is a little variety, I’m not allowed to mix and match. Tsk-tsk restaurateurs.
A simple remedy to this situation is to make own your sliders at home. They are super simple to prepare and you can use as many different flavors as you like.
Here’s a cooking technique I committed to memory a little over a year ago.
1. Griddle – To achieve the proper slider, a griddle is the best choice. A frying pan will do but you’ll only be able to do a few at a time and you’ll need to drain the fat often. The goal is to get a lot of browning on the meat patty. Forget using a BBQ altogether (unless you’ve got the griddle sitting on top of the grate).2. Spatula – Leave that flimsy, fly-swatter spatula you bought at Navarro for $0.54 in the drawer. You’ll need one with a little rigidity to it.
3. A Metal Bowl or a Pot Lid
80/20 is the magic ratio for sliders (and regular burgers too). 80% meat to 20% fat. It’s important to stick to this ratio because we’re looking for a very specific texture that can only be achieved by some fat melting out of the patty. Texture is what it’s all about. We want a patty with lots of nooks and crannies, think air and lace. The easiest way to achieve this texture is by using the 80/20 ratio and by not handling the meat after it’s been ground.The meat blend is up to you, it doesn’t matter what you put in there. I’m lazy so I use 80/20 ground chuck straight from the grocery. You can mix it up with short rib, sirloin, goat, bison, veal, etc, etc. Knock yourself out. Although if you are going to make your own meat blend you’ll want to grind your own meat. That way you’ll have better control of both the fat content and more importantly the texture, we want this meat to be unhandled out of that grinder.
Not much to this, start off slow, fire a test shot to make sure your pan is heated properly and you’re good to go.1. Preheat your griddle to MED-HI heat.
2. Begin with a chunk of raw beef about the size of a Persian lime. Drop the beef on the griddle and smash it with a spatula so that you make a patty that is less than 1/4″ thick.
3. Season exposed side with salt/pepper, to taste.
4. Wait. Let it brown. You want the patty to develop a crisp, crunchy crust. Flip it, brown it some more.
5. When its almost ready top it with a slice of cheese. Cover the patty with the metal bowl (or pot lid) to melt the cheese.
6. (Optional) Place the bun, sliced side down, on the griddle to toast.
Now lets talk toppings.
dowhatchalike. I copied some of the flavor’s featured on the Burger Beast Menu at John Martin’s.
– BBQ Bacon Cheddar Slider with Caramelized Onions
– Francophile Slider topped with Brie cheese and Roasted Peppers
– The Angry Italian Slider topped with Diced Cherry Peppers, Spicy Salami and Tomato Basil Cheddar Cheese.
The possibilities are endless. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section.
And let me know how it works out, mine were really good. Better than any I’ve had at a restaurant.
Thanks to GhenghisJuan for submitting his recipe for Sliders (or Mini Burgers)