Happy Wednesday friends. The holidays may be quieter this year but I am still so busy! I received our holiday cards (see picture of the SB family at the beach last fall). Here is a holiday planning secret. I always order a regular Christmas card and a New Year’s card. That way I can send New Year’s cards to friends or contacts who may have sent us a card that was unexpected (or oops if I forgot someone!). It makes it look intentional versus sending a Christmas card after Christmas which always bothers my Type A personality. In all of the holiday busyness, I also realized that I had not yet shared Mr. SB’s recipe for his best ever sliders and amazing caper mayo from our Christmas tree cutting tailgate! Read on for the recipes, details, and here is the full tailgate post too.
Tips on making great sliders
It is not easy to get Mr. SB to reveal his secrets but I promise these are the most delicious sliders, and it was worth my cajoling (OK nagging) to get him to share his recipe. Here are a few of his tips too on making the best ever sliders with caper mayo.
First, try to buy locally sourced grass fed beef. We have a share with Walden Local which delivers monthly. This is not a sponsored post. From my experience with being a customer for over two years, I can assure you that their products are sustainable, grass fed (for the beef…they also offer seafood) and most importantly delicious. You do not have to worry about antibiotics or hormones in the meat as all of their meat comes from local farms that are strictly vetted. I also like knowing that the livestock is humanely raised. Ideally you will want 80% lean for the best sliders. Grass fed beef can be on the very lean side but what we buy from Walden Local has always made delicious sliders and burgers. If this sort of beef is not available, then simply buy the best quality you can at 80% lean.
Prepare the sliders ahead of time
Second, the sliders actually taste better if you prepare them a few hours in advance and refrigerate. The time allows for the spices to meld with the other ingredients. This is ideal for tailgating as you will want to have your burgers already mixed and formed into sliders.
Mr. SB always has a meat thermometer to test the right internal temperature. Frankly he prefers his meat on the rare side (that is very French) but with hamburgers I insist on well cooked as there is a risk of contamination. Check out the USDA’s link for what they recommend for safe cooking.
Toppings suggestions for sliders
He grills on his portable Coleman grill and once the sliders are done we always have an assortment of toppings – baby lettuce, ripe red tomato slices, thin onion for everyone to choose what they prefer. As for buns, we like ones that are firm enough that they are not impossible to eat when outside at a tailgate. Whole Foods always has a great selection in our area. Then of course, Mr. SB insists that the best topping is the caper mayo (and I have to agree…do not even suggest BBQ sauce as I did!). As the sliders are small, feel free to eat more than one. There is no point bringing home leftovers after a tailgate!
Best Ever Beef Slider Recipe
- 1 lb ground chuck 80% lean, preferably grass-fed. We like Walden Local if available.
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme If not fresh you can use 1/2 tsp of dried thyme or dried Italian herbs if you like
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Slider buns
- Combine all ingredients except slider buns. Mix with your hands and form into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch mini burgers. Cook to a safe temperature. Top with lettuce, tomato, onion slices, cheese or however you like your burgers.
Mr. SB’s Caper Mayonnaise
- Food processor
- 1/4 cup capers drained
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons avocado or canola oil
- Kosher salt
- In a food processor, pulse the capers with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water until combined. With the machine on, slowly drizzle in the avocado oil until a thick sauce forms.
- Season with salt and scrape into a medium bowl. Serve with your favorite burger, sandwich, seafood or as a dip. The caper mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Is there anything better than delicious bite sized sliders with creamy mayo at your tailgate?