Merlot-Candied Bacon, Maytag Blue and Arugula Sliders
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
For the burger:
- 1 pound thin-sliced bacon, cooked
- ¼ cup merlot, grape or rhubarb jelly
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 8 ounces Maytag blue cheese, cut into shards
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
- 18 slider buns, split
For the toppings:
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
Preheat the oven to 350°F and the grill to medium heat.
Cut the cooked bacon strips in half crosswise and arrange on a baking sheet. Warm the jelly until spreadable then brush on each piece of bacon to coat. Bake the bacon in the oven until the jelly is set, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Divide the ground beef into 18 portions and shape into patties slightly larger than the buns to allow for shrinkage; don’t overwork the meat. Press the center of each patty slightly so burger doesn’t puff during grilling. Season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the patties on one side for 2 minutes, flip, then top with ½ ounce (about 1 tablespoon) of the blue cheese. Continue grilling until burgers reach an internal USDA requirements of cooking ground beef to 160 degrees. Remove and let rest 3 minutes. Meanwhile, butter and toast the buns.
For the topping, in a medium bowl, mash the garlic with the salt. Whisk in the olive oil, sugar, lemon juice and mustard, then add the arugula and onion and toss to coat.
To assemble the sliders, place a blue cheese-topped burger on toasted bun bottom. Top with 2 strips of glazed bacon and ¼ cup arugula salad; add the top half of the bun.
Nutrition per serving: 420 Calories, 32g Total Fat, 67mg Cholesterol, 593mg Sodium, 16g Carbohydrate, 1g Fiber, 17g Protein