No, I'm not talking about the moderately successful FOX science fiction series staring Jerry O'Connell. I'm talking about these:
Sliders. Here in Australia, a land sadly bereft of White Castle restaurants, the concept of the slider is foreign to most. I've only heard of the thanks to the internet, and even then I still don't have a clear concept of what they are beyond being small burgers. So with that in mind, please be gentle in correcting me for what is no doubt slider heresy.
I wasn't even supposed to make sliders, to be honest. The idea was to make a regular burger, but when I got to the bakery late in the day to find that they were all out of burger buns, I bought a couple of dinner rolls instead. Fleetingly I considered making the patty smaller and photographing it to look like it was full-sized, but dear reader, I respect you too much to do that.
And that's the story of how I made sliders.
Ingredients (makes about 14 sliders):
- 500g beef mince
- 1/2 an onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 14 small burger buns/dinner rolls
- Cheddar cheese
- Chilli jam
- Sea salt
1. Blend the onion and garlic with the tomato paste, mustard, pepper, and sugar to form a paste1. Mix this thoroughly with the beef mince and set aside in a cool place.
2. When ready to cook, set the stage: Half the burger buns and place cut side up on a baking tray, and cut bun-sized pieces of cheddar. Shape the beef mince into 14 equally sized balls.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pan2 to a medium heat, then add the balls of mince and press down with the back of a spatula to form a thick round patty. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes3.
4. While the patties are cooking, grill (broil) the cut surfaces of the burger buns until browned. Leave the grill on. Remove from the oven, set aside the tops of the buns and spread them with chilli jam4.
4. When the patties are cooked, place one patty onto each bun bottom, a seasoning of sea salt, and a slice of cheddar on top of that. Place back under the grill for 1 minute until the cheese is melted.
5. Replace the tops and serve.
(1) I find that this makes for moister patties than usual fine dice method, plus I hate biting into crunchy bits of undercooked onion.
(2) You want it to be a well-preheated heavy pan so the temperature doesn't completely drop once the meat is added.
(3) Use your heat with the timing — mine took 5 minutes a side because they were quite thick, but if you've got a hotter pan and thinner patties they will obviously cook more quickly.
(4) You don't have to use it of course, but have you tasted it? It's damn good.