Meatloaf Sliders with Bacon, Pepper Jack and Frizzled Onions.
Two of my favorite things today!
Burgers and friends.
It’s Monday, I’m in a chocolate-peanut butter egg coma, I’ve got a full day of work, bruises on my knees from falling on my face in the Target parking lot (it would happen there) and half of a coconut cake left in my fridge. And I’m about to tell you why I am oh-so in love with Andie Mitchell’s cookbook, which is going to make you want to eat all the things.
Oh but wait. The MAIN reason I need to share the burgers from Andie’s book with you today is because…
Max had his very first burger last Fall with Andie at Shake Shack. And no, she didn’t offer it up to him, at least she hadn’t yet – he literally grabbed it out of her hand and started attacking it with his mouth. I’m pretty sure he ate at least a quarter of it and covered another third in baby drool, rendering it impossible to eat unless you were his mother.
And now? Cheeseburgers are one of this favorite foods. Not blaming him at all.
SO. The good stuff.
This recipe comes from Eating in the Middle, Andie’s cookbook which comes out… TOMORROW!! You must must go order it now, as it’s absolutely fabulous. For years I’ve told you how Andie is my Oprah, and then she went and wrote a fantastic memoir that I managed to read in one day and mostly bawled my eyes out while doing so.
If you’re familiar with Andie, then you probably know that she is genuine and possesses an authenticity that is hard to find these days. She’s relatable and hilarious and still seems to struggle between the Noel or Ben love triangle on Felicity, which I can obviously understand. One of the things I love most about Andie though? Is that she eats real food! All food. She loves real food, shares her favorites in the book and talks about how to eat what you love for a happy and healthy LIFESTYLE.
When she first told me about her cookbook last year, it struck a chord with me. You guys know I am SUCH an all-or-nothing person, it’s by far my biggest flaw. Andie’s concept for this cookbook is that so often, when we’re struggling with eating or with weight or habits, we’re on one side or the other – restricting or overindulging. And she likes to show that we CAN eat in the middle and maintain a healthy life with delicious food. I LOVE IT.
It’s actually the mindset that I grew up with, where eating in the middle was just “normal.” My mom has the best mindset about food and I hope that I can pass it on to my kids.
These burgers are an absolute dream and just what we needed to break us out of our burger rut. Yes, we get in burger ruts. Which is probably terrible. But it’s real life.
Luckily, we’ve both always loved meatloaf and even though my mom made the most delicious meatloaf when I was a kid, I have completely failed at this dish more than once. Also, I just realized my mom probably hasn’t made meatloaf in like fifteen years so I’m going to nag her until she does so! Yes yes.
The burgers are PACKED with flavor. Packed, I tell you. I decided to make mine into sliders instead of burgers since mini things are adorable and you can eat two burgers. The outside has this fabulous crunchy crust and the inside is moist (YES I’M SORRY it is, unless you’d rather me say it’s soggy or damp) and juicy. I threw on some extra BBQ sauce, the cheese is melty and a big spicy and the onions are so lightly fried and crispy. Perfection?!
This is exactly how I want to start every week.
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 pound ground sirloin, I used 93% lean
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon djion mustard
- 1/2 cup smoky BBQ sauce, plus extra for serving
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces pepper-jack cheese, sliced
- 8 to 10 slider buns, I used multigrain dinner rolls from a local bakery
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced into super thin rings
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- peanut oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and the fat is rendered. Once crispy, remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain. Once cool, break it into thirds or fourths so it fits on the burgers. Pour most of the bacon fat out of the skillet, leaving just a little to cook the sliders in.
- In a large bowl, combined the beef, breadcrumbs, worcertershire, mustard, bbq sauce, honey, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until the ingredients are dispersed and distributed. Form the mixture into 8 or 10 (depending on the bun size) equal patties.
- Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliders and cook until browned and crisp on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low, cover the sliders with the cheese slices and cover the skillet until it melts.
- To serve, add a bit of bbq sauce on each bun. Cover with the meatloaf patty, a few pieces of bacon and the other bun top.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Add the sliced onion rings and cover them completely in the milk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a baking dish, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika and pepper. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and fit it with a candy thermometer. Add enough peanut oil so you have a few inches to fry in. You want the temp of the oil to reach 375 degrees F.
- Take the onion rings out of the fridge. Remove each ring and shake off the excess milk, then dredge it through the seasoned flour mixture. Add it to the oil and fry until it’s golden and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes, flipping once or twice. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Cover with salt while still hot!
- As a note, I like to start the burgers and heat the oil while the onion rings are in the fridge! This way, it makes for a fairly “quick” meal, given the components.