I knew rolling into this weekend that I would be watching 3 Big 12 games at once, so I figured I would make something that is the same but different 3 times around. Sliders seemed like the perfect fit for and what I did for the 3 different flavors of sliders only proves that sometimes I can pull menus out of my ass. I went with the traditional slider, a pulled pork version, and an Italian meatball version. To connect the sliders dots, it was Brooklyn Lager on tap. Let’s cook this stuff:
Traditional Slider Filling
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/3 cut onion
- 3 slice sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat a grill for high heat. Mix together the ground beef, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil. Divide into four balls, and flatten into patties.
- Caramelize the onions by combining the olive oil into a heated pan and slow cooking with the cut onion for about 10 minutes.
- Cook the patties for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. The internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
Pulled Pork Slider Filling
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 pounds boneless pork roast
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
- 1 package of ready made cole slaw
- Cut the pork roast into large chunks. Season generously with the Cajun seasoning. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, and brown on all sides. Remove from the skillet, and transfer to a slow cooker.
- Add the onion and garlic to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes until tender. Stir in the water scraping the bottom to include all of the browned pork bits from the bottom of the pan, then pour the whole mixture into the slow cooker with the pork. Stir in liquid smoke flavoring.
- Cover, and cook on High for 6 hours, or until meat is falling apart when pierced with a fork. Remove pieces of pork from the slow cooker, and shred.
- Open up the cole slaw package and prepare the cole slaw per the packaged instructions.
Italian Meatball Filling
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch salt, or to taste
- 1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- 3 slices provolone cheese
- In a medium bowl, gently mix by hand the ground beef, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and egg. Shape into 3 meatballs.
- Pan fry the meatballs in medium heat with a little extra dab of olive oil for 20 minutes turning it over every 5 minutes and adding the sauce after 10.
- 1 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1/8 cup margarine, melted
- 1/8 cup warm water
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1 (.25 ounce) packages instant yeast
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
- In a large bowl, stir together the milk, margarine, warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Mix in the salt, and gradually stir in the flour until you have a soft dough. Divide into 25 pieces, and form into balls. Place on baking sheets so they are 2 to 3 inches apart. Let rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake the rolls for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly, then split them in half horizontally.
- For the buns, slice in half and lightly butter. Then place on grill for 3 minutes to crisp.
- For the traditional slider, place the caramelized onions on first, then the patty, and then a slice of cheddar cheese.
- For the pulled pork slider, place the pulled pork on first and then the cole slaw.
- For the meatball slider, place the meatball with sauce on first and then a slice of provolone cheese.
The traditional slider was a winner as always. It’s more because I’m a fan of caramelized onions than anything else. The Italian meatball slider was the most meaty of the bunch. The sauce made it feel bigger than what it actually was and the provolone kept it together. The pulled pork slider was the winner of the night. The meat fell right off the fork straight out of the crock pot and into my mouth. The sweetness of the pork broth went superbly with the cole slaw I tossed together.
The glue that held these guys together was Brooklyn Lager. The lightly roasted flavor of the matched the traditional slider perfectly, as it brought the onion flavor and helped guide the meat taste down. I don’t think it went with the meatball slider too well as I could’ve used something just a tad lighter and hoppy for that heavy ball. The pulled pork worked fine with the Brooklyn Lager. The smoke flavor from the pork was the connection for the lager.
The hardest part of this week’s football feedings was getting everything done at the same time. With three different types of slider, it was quite the task. I was up for it, though, and I’m glad it paid off. We may be revisiting the pulled pork again in the future as it was the best of the bunch by far. I still have a soft spot for the traditional slider and I hope it doesn’t traditionally slide right though me. The lager is a good blocker.