Tailgate Chic Super Bowl Menu: End Zone Slider Bar

I wanted to offer a gourmet slider bar with options for everyone, so I made turkey and sirloin sliders and purchased veggie burger sliders in several flavors.   Don’t discount the importance of the bun. A really good bun will take your burger to another level—I used mini pretzel and brioche buns for mine. To this add, some really good cheeses and a few special toppings, and you have a slider bar ready to please any gourmand. Using beautiful, high quality ingredients will elevate your sliders without adding any extra work.

Our slider bar included:

Aged Gouda
Aged Cheddar
Caramelized Onions
Applewood smoked bacon pieces
A selection of mustards, mayo and ketchup
And a selection of veggies

Feel free to mix and match ingredients, but my sirloin slider had bacon, caramelized onions, aged Gouda, mayo, and arugula on a brioche bun. I put the turkey burger on the pretzel bun, and topped that with the cheddar, arugula, Dijon mustard, and a touch of mayo.

Go ahead and use you favorite burger recipe, but I kept mine really simple.  Good quality meat can speak for itself; I just enhanced the flavors a little with fresh herbs. (I used thyme for the sirloin burgers and chives for the turkey burgers, but pick whatever herbs you like or have on hand.)

Herbed Sliders

Makes 6, 3 oz. sliders. If you need to adjust the quantities, just calculate about 3 oz. of meat per burger.


18 oz of ground sirloin or turkey meat.
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of ground pepper
1 to 2 tbsp of chopped fresh herbs


•    Mix all the ingredients together in bowl.
•    Make a small test patty. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan on the stove and add a small amount of oil to the pan.
•    When the pan is really hot, add your test patty and allow it to cook all the way through.  Taste the meat and make any adjustments to the beef/turkey mixture.
•    Divide the meat into 6 equal balls and form patties.
•    Cook your patties in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan.  Grill the burgers for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer if you like your burgers more well done.  Cook about 5 minutes per side for the turkey burgers.
•    Remove the burgers from the heat and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
•    Build your sliders with desired ingredients and enjoy.

Caramelized Onions

Makes about ½ quart of onions

Caramelized onions have countless uses, and while they take a little time, they’re really easy to make. Once you’ve made them once, you’ll always want to keep some around for impromptu uses. Store any extras in the freezer. You can customize the onions by varying up the type of vinegar or wine you use.


3 large onions, sliced
2 tsp butter or olive oil
¼ c sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

•    Heat oil or butter in large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with the oil or butter. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and sugar.
•    Continue to stir occasionally. When the onions have begun to brown, add a splash of sherry vinegar and deglaze the bottom of the pan, incorporating the brown bits into the liquid. Add a little water to the pan—about ¼ to ½ a cup.
•     Allow the liquid to reduce, so that onions begin to brown again, then add a little more water and deglaze the pan again.
•    Repeat the process several more times until the onions are soft, golden to brown in color (depending on your preference), and have achieved a sweet flavor.
•    Adjust the seasoning and sugar to taste. 
•    Keep warm until it’s time to serve, or store in the fridge if you’re making the onions ahead of time and then reheat for the party.

Perfect Pairing: Pulenta Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza III 2011
Beef and Cabernet Sauvignon are a classic pairing, and you can find really beautiful versions coming from Argentina and Chile. This one comes from Mendoza, and has notes of sweet smoke and tobacco that paired perfectly with the caramelized onions, bacon, and beef in the slider.

Check out the rest of the Super Bowl recipes in this series:
Roast & Beet 'Em Salad
Mini Lobster Rolls
Sesame Barbeque Ribs 
And definitely don't miss Hilary Pereira's decorating feature.

Thanks & Credits: 
A a big thanks to Inside the C.
An extra special thanks to Hilary Pereira and her team, Kat and Rafael. 

All of the beautiful photographs for these posts were taken by Daniel Movitz.
Laura Sarvia Bott, of Bott and Co., created all of the fantastic designs for the signage and menus.and and Mafe Martinez and her team, Ileana and Ruth, at Sites by Mufin created the new design for my site

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