Ah, sliders. Yes, those little burgers that were the holy grail featured in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Such high-brow stimulation got my imagination going back then and being a girl, I cooed at the thought of miniaturised fast food and wanted to lay my hands on them. Sliders, though, have not yet crossed the Atlantic but still I searched until I did find one substitute: mini burgers. But after a slightly disappointing mini burger experience at Bryon’s, I put off slider thoughts in my mind for a while.
However, I noticed an article recently that claimed that the best sliders in NYC were from Shopsin’s General Store and the accompanying photo to the article set me drooling. The recipe seemed easy enough and so last weekend, I set about gathering the ingredients and making sliders for dinner.
Of course, I had to modify a few things. I thought it would be a shame to toast the buns and then steam them, losing their toastiness so I skipped the steaming. I guess I’ll try that one day to get a more authentic texture to the sliders. Instead of the recommended American cheese, I found slices of pepper jack at my local supermarket and used that. They still turned out fantastic! We had them with a salad and oven chips.
Shopsins Style Sliders
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.
250g minced beef (you need some fat in there)
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
6 little white buns (I found suitable ones in my supermarket called snack buns)
butter for the buns
sliced cheese (I used pepper jack)
In a bowl, season the minced beef with salt and pepper and mix well. Divide the meat into 6 portions and form a large meatball out of each portion. Squish each meatball between your palms so that a flat patty is formed, each with a slightly larger diameter than that of the bun. They’ll shrink as you cook them.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the onion until golden brown. Drain and set the fried onion aside.
While the onion is frying, slice your buns along their equators and butter both sides. Toast them butter side up under a grill or in the oven.
In the same pan you used for the onion, fry the patties for about 2 minutes a side. After flipping the patties, distribute the fried onions among all six of the patties. Cover each with a slice or two of cheese. If you want to steam the buns too, cover each cheese slice with the top half of the bun and then place the bottom halves (buttered side up) on top of that. Cover the pan with a lid for the final minute or so, until the cheese has melted. Sandwich the patties in the buns – if you steamed the buns too, this would just mean plating the bottom buns and then placing the entire patty and top bun combo on top. Serve while hot!