French Onion Beef Sliders

Story provided by Karyl Henry of KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a million more times—I’m holding strong that there will be a football season this year! There’s just nothing like Fall and football in Stillwater, and I can’t wait to spend that time with friends.

Whether the games are home or on the road, food is one of the biggest parts of the gameday experience. Pigs in an Everything Blanket is a party staple. Homemade Pimento Cheese is a dip that you can make cold or hot. And Spinach & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms is a huge hit with my friends.

Sliders are another great game day dish because they’re perfect for a crowd. I’ve gone a little indulgent on this one with French Onion Beef Sliders.

INGREDIENT TIPS FOR FRENCH ONION BEEF SLIDERS

ALL ABOUT THE ONIONS

For traditional caramelized onions you need to cook them low and slow for about an hour. But I discovered a fabulous shortcut—add Beef Stock!

You still cook the onions on low, then add the stock after 20 minutes. The stock adds caramel color, more flavor, and helps to soften the onions faster. So instead of an hour, the onions are done in 30 minutes.

TIP: Look for unsalted beef broth. Or, you can make your own but I haven’t tackled that yet.

MEAT TIPS

I use ground beef for these French Onion Beef Sliders, and I like to use 85% lean (85/15). I’ve tried it with leaner beef, but it dries out more when it bakes.

If you use 80/20 ground beef make sure to drain all the fat or the sliders will be greasy. 

Loose ground meat or patties? I have made French Onion Beef Sliders both ways. The patties do take a little more time, so I’ll do that when I’m making a smaller batch. If I’m making a large batch for a crowd, I’ll do loose meat.

I make 2oz patties, which is the perfect size for the slider buns. I make them a little larger than the bun because they will shrink some when they cook.

Season the meat lightly with salt and pepper. You’ll also add a little Worcestershire sauce and beef base. The beef base tends to be very salty, so a little goes a long way.

CHEESE TIPS

Gruyere is traditional for French Onion soup. It is so delicious, but it is also pricey. So you can mix in half Swiss cheese.

BUN TIPS

I like to use slider buns, and usually use a butter flavor.

MAKE-AHEAD, PORTION SIZES AND LEFTOVERS

MAKE-AHEAD OPTIONS

Same day – Prep everything, cover the baking dish with foil, and store in the fridge. When ready to bake, take pan out of the fridge while the oven heats and bake until done.

Prep and freeze – make a whole batch of sliders, remove from the oven and cook them completely. Individually wrap sliders in Wax Paper and then in aluminum foil, and then put into a large Ziploc bag and freeze.

PORTIONS

The recipe as written makes 6 sliders. You can easily double or quadruple the recipe for a crowd. I recommend increasing the baking time to 30-35 minutes for these larger portions.

LEFTOVERS

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes per slider at 80% power.

French Onion Beef Sliders from KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 slider buns (I prefer butter flavor)
  • 12 oz ground beef (I prefer 85/15)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup unsalted beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon beef base 
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet (I use a cast iron braiser).
  3. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add beef stock and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove onions and set aside.
  6. Prepare meat while onions cook.
  7. PATTIES OPTION: In a large bowl add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon beef base to the meat. Using your hands, mix until just incorporated. Portion meat into 2oz portions and form into patties. Cook patties in the skillet for 2-3 minutes per side.
  8. LOOSE MEAT OPTION: Add meat, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat. Add Worcestershire sauce and beef base and cook for another minute.
  9. Place the bottom half of the slider buns in an oven-safe dish. Top with meat. Evenly spread onions over the meat, and then do the same with the cheese.
  10. Top each slider with the top bun. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter for 20 seconds in the microwave. Add beef base and whisk together. Brush each bun top with the mixture.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese has fully melted.