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Party food: The best sliders

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Whether it’s food for the big game, or entertaining friends these sliders are so easy delicious they are a must have for your next party.

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Building a better slider

I know, I know…sliders are a lot of work. Making all of those little patties, getting them all the same size, etc. is time consuming for a little burger that’s going to be gone in a couple of bites. But there is an easier way.

My technique is very straightforward. You simply mix the ground meat, spread is evenly on as sheet pan using the top of the pan as a guide for the thickness, and then use a biscuit cutter to cut out the patties. Re-form the scraps and repeat until all of the patties are formed.

Not only will you make slider patties in record time, but they will all be the same size, diameter, and thickness ensuring even cooking. In this case the patties are one inch thick, four ounces in weight, and three inches across.

Slider patty perfection

Speaking of patties we can do a lot better than just standard, store bought ground beef. By combining different meats we can have a custom ground beef mix that tastes gourmet, but costs about the same as regular ground beef. All you have to do is mix equal parts ground brisket with ground round or ground sirloin.

There are basically two ways of doing this. First is to ask your butcher to grind some brisket for you, and second is to grind it yourself. I have a meat grinder as do many people here in South Louisiana, but your butcher should be happy to do it for you for a minimum fee. Oh and don’t have him trim off the fat you’re going to need that.

The two meats have different flavors and fat contents. By combining the two we are getting the best of both of them. The high fat content of the brisket is needed for flavor and moisture to balance the lean texture of the sirloin, or round. Add in some dry seasonings and you have a slider patty that tastes every bit gourmet as the gastropub downtown.

Slider breads and toppings

Any good quality, small bun will do. So visit your local baker and ask what he recommends.

Toppings are as varied as your imagination. I went with some sharp cheddar and provolone cheeses, bacon, yellow mustard, and some herbed-garlic aioli. Nothing is off of the table though. From avocados to artichokes, and pistachios to pesto it’s all in bounds, but don’t forget that the main attraction is the slider patty.

Cooking methods

I’m not going to tell you how to cook a hamburger patty, but when it comes to sliders let’s just say that a contact grill is your best friend.

A coal or gas grill will work too, but just be sure that you have a long pair of tongs and that you do not leave the grill once the meat is on.

Yield: 14 sliders

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. 6ozs. Ground round or sirloin
  • 1lb. 6ozs. Ground brisket
  • Kosher salt, Cajun seasoning, and granulated garlic to taste.

Note: Start with 2tsp of each of the dry seasonings to start. The seasoning can be adjusted from there.

Method:

Preheat the grill to 400°, or high setting.

In a large bowl, add the dry seasonings to the meats and mix by hand until well combined.

Cook a small piece, taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.

Spread the mixture on a half-sheet pan making sure that the thickness is as consistent as possible. Use the top of the sheet pan as a guide.

Cut patties out using a 3" biscuit cutter.

Re-form the trimmings and repeat until all of the patties are made.

Cook 4-6 patties at a time (depending on the size of your grill) for 3½ minutes, or until medium doneness.

Do not overcook! No, really don’t do that.

Add cheeses to melt, then remove to a platter for serving.

Slider simplicity:

Keep is simple. You notice that the burger mix has no egg, no bread crumbs, no sauces of any sort, and that’s by design. The idea is to make these sliders look, and taste, incredible with minimum ingredients and effort.

Don’t let the toppings, or the buns, or anything else, take away from the patties. Have plenty of napkins available.

Stay hungry.

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