Sliders and beer….a combo that works for any casual gathering: outdoors on the deck, tailgating in the parking lot, or in your living room during Superbowl Sundays. While classic unadorned sliders and beer are fine on their own, it’s always fun to elevate the simplistic into the sublime, especially when it is easy. Adding an orange chipotle syrup to the beer to make it an artisan Michelada adds the special touch to any of these casual celebrations.
First the sliders:
I was most fortunate to meet Erika Kerekes , the brains and developer of a new line of sauces from California called Not Ketchup. We were both attendees at a wonderful conference/camp for food and drink bloggers called “Camp Blogaway”. After exchanging stories and ideas, Erika sent me back home to MN with a sampler package of her sauces. I’m a huge fan of Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar in Las Vegas (and Hubert Keller in general), and thought her sauces would pair beautifully with some mini-burgers inspired by one of his shows on PBS. They did!
The following recipe used the Cherry Chipotle sauce on the sliders, but I tried all of the sample “ketchups” on different days (it was a week full of sliders), and they were all awesome. Here is one of the slider recipes, inspired by Hubert Keller and Erika’s Not Ketchup sauces:
Chow Chow Mini-Burger (aka Chow Chow Slider)
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 lb green tomatoes (optional, depending on availability)
- 1 cup red bell peppers, chopped (I used jarred roasted red peppers)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 Tblsp mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp celery seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
- 2 lbs. ground chuck, 20 % fat
- buns (or Kaiser rolls), split
- 1/4 cup “Not Ketchup” sauce (any flavor works well)
- salt & pepper
- Combine the cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, onion, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds,turmeric, cayenne and 1 1/2 tsp salt in a heavy saute pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat a grill or a skillet to medium high, wiping down the grate or skillet with olive oil before heating. I have a Cuisinart Griddler Delux, which I bought after watching the Hubert Keller PBS series, and I love it for inside grilling. Turn the top and bottom plates both on sear if you have one of these.
- In a bowl, use your hands to gently mix together ground beef, green onions, and 1/2 tsp pepper (more to taste). Do not add salt, as this will cause the meat to start to cure and give it a different texture.
- Use a 1/2 cup dry measuring cup to form the mini-burgers. Pack the measuring cup with the burger mixture and level it off. Turn the measuring cup over onto a plate and tap the bottom until the burger patty drops out. Don’t handle the meat too much, as it is better texture and taste if it is light and airy. Salt the burger patties right before grilling.
- Grill the burgers until charred on the outside and cooked inside until no longer pink (160 degrees), turning once. It takes about 3-5 minutes per side (if desired, add cheese on top of the patties for the last couple of minutes to melt). Remove the burgers and allow them to rest on a paper towel for a couple of minutes. While the patties are resting, grill the buns, cut side down, until toasted.
- Spread the bottom buns with the dipping sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce. Place the burger patty on the sauce and top with a generous portion of chow chow mix. (I also added some sauteed spinach on top of the chow chow but that is optional).
- Serve with your favorite beer or drink.
Now the Michelada Beer with Orange Chipotle Syrup:
Sometimes you don’t want to mess with a good beer and just enjoy it in its natural state. Sometimes you want to kick it up a notch and enjoy your beer with a little spice. And…sometimes you want to do both!
If you’ve got a hot leisurely day of few responsibilities stretching out in front of you;
- Make your first beer simple – just pop the top off a good beer (no enhancements);
- make your next beer of the day a little more exotic by adding 1/2 ounce or so of Orange Chipotle Spice Syrup (ala Michelada), rimming the glass with chipotle salt;
- rinse and repeat.
The combination of Sliders and Beer cry out for casual and companionship. Start the grill, text your friends to come over and enjoy!