Steak Sliders with Applewood Bacon-Cabernet Reduction (8 servings)
- 6 oz applewood smoked bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide pieces
- 2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other full bodied red wine
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup ruby port
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Vegetable oil, for brushing grill grates
- 3 pounds ground sirloin
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 24 mini Hawaiian sweet rolls or slider buns, split and toasted
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
To prepare the Cabernet reduction, place bacon pieces in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer cooked bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Return skillet with bacon drippings to medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until deep brown and carmelized, about 40 minutes. Add wine, beef broth, port, and thyme, stirring well to combine. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick, almost jam-like, and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 1 hour. Stir in reserved crisped bacon. Set aside.
To prepare the burgers, assemble a moderately high charcoal fire, preheat a gas gril to medium-high, or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush grill grates or grill pan with a thin coating of oil using a silicone pastry brush. Shape ground sirloin into 24 (1-inch thick) patties about 2 oz. each. Sprinkle patties generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Place patties on preheated grill and cook until well browned on bottom and almost halfway cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Flip burgers and grill on second side until cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare.
Transfer buns to work surface and place burgers on each bun bottom. Spoon Cabernet reduction and sprinkl blue cheese over each burger. Cut in half and serve immediately.
The Cabernet reduction turned out to be almost like a marmalade and completely made this dish. I think my photographer was dizzy from all the bacon-y goodness when taking this photo. But a good time was had by all!