Akaushi Beef Sliders

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr (includes roasting garlic)
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 7 sliders
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Ingredients

Caramelized Onions:

3 large onions, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch half moons

1/4 cup rendered duck fat, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 to 1/4 can lager beer

Garlic Confit Mayo:

1 head garlic, cloves peeled

1/2 cup redered duck fat, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Sliders:

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 pound ground Akaushi beef 

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue-vein cheese, crumbled 

7 Hawaiian-style sweet dinner rolls, cut in half to form mini burger buns, or slider buns

3 cups baby arugula 

7 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce 

Directions

Special equipment:
7 bamboo skewers
  1. For the caramelized onions: Heat the duck fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and season with the salt and pepper. Cook until transluscent, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the onions have reached a caramel color, about 30 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the beer and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. For the garlic confit mayo: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the garlic in a small oven-safe ramekin. Add the duck fat to cover the garlic. Roast until the garlic is light golden brown and has a soft, pliable texture, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Strain out the garlic and set the duck fat aside. Pulse the garlic in a food processor to produce a paste. Add the mayonnaise and pulse to combine. With the food processor running on low to medium speed, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Gradually add up to 2 teaspoons of the reserved duck fat for additional flavor. Reserve the remaining garlic-infused duck fat aside to toast the slider buns.
  4. For the sliders: Combine the Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, in a small bowl. Break up the ground beef in a large bowl. Add the spice mix and knead until the seasoning is evenly distributed. Form the ground beef mixture into 7 patties. With your thumb, make small indentions about 1/8-inch deep in the middle of both sides of each patty, so they almost look like donuts without the holes. This will ensure they cook evenly and don't puff up like marshmallows, making them hard to top. Form the blue cheese into 7 balls about the size of large marbles.
  5. Cook the patties on a flat top grill or in a large cast iron pan over medium-high to high heat 2 minutes per side. Halfway through cooking the second side, top each patty with a ball of blue cheese. Pour 1/4 cup of water onto the grill or into the pan and immediately cover with a metal bowl or lid to allow the steam to melt the cheese.
  6. While the sliders are cooking, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the reserved garlic-infused duck fat on a separate section of the griddle or in a second pan over medium heat. Place the buns cut sides-down on the grill, cover, and toast until golden-brown, about a minute. This will toast the insides of the buns while warming and softening the outsides.
  7. Place the buns on a serving tray, open and ready to assemble. Spoon one tablespoon of the garlic mayonnaise onto the bottom half of each bun and cover with the baby arugula. Remove the patties from griddle and carefully place on top of the arugula.
  8. Equally distribute the caramelized onion on top of the patties, 1 to 2 tablespoons per patty. Top each with a tablespoon of Frank¿s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, being careful not to let the cheese and onions fall off. Gently place bun tops on the sliders and secure with bamboo skewers.

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