We’re pretty serious about our burgers here in Nashville, but wherever you live, I’m sure you’ve got a “best burger in town.” Armed with Rachael Ray’s The Book of Burger, the best could be found on your own grill!
Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt is a self-declared burgerholic, and she swears this cookbook is burger bliss with over 200 recipes.
Brooklyn Beer Chili Sliders
with Smoky BBQ Sauce, Oil-and-Vinegar Slaw, and Sweet ’n’ Spicy Pickles
MAKES 12 SLIDERS
I fell in love with this burger when I created it for the Brooklyn Block Party I threw one summer—and I’ve been in love with it ever since. It has my almost-famous smoky BBQ sauce and my sweet ’n’ spicy pickles, which I can eat on just about anything. I also served it up to more than three thousand people at the 2012 Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival!
- 2 cups white balsamic or cider vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small fresh red chile, such as Fresno,sliced
- 4 Kirby cucumbers, sliced 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch thick
- 1⁄2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- A few sprigs fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1⁄2 pound red cabbage, shredded
- 1⁄2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Celery salt
- Kosher salt and pepper
SMOKY BBQ SAUCE:
- 1 cup good-quality ketchup, such as Heinz Organic
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 11⁄2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- Coarsely ground pepper
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram or Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1⁄2 cup Brooklyn Ale or other beer of choice
- Grill seasoning, such as McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning, or kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper
- Vegetable oil or olive oil, for drizzling
- 12 slider rolls, split
Make the pickles: Bring the vinegar, 1⁄3 cup water, the sugar, salt, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
Put the chile, cucumbers, onion, and dill in a small food storage container and sprinkle in the mustard seeds and coriander seeds. Pour the hot brine over the pickles.
Cool, cover, and chill overnight, shaking every once in a while.
When you are ready to make the sliders, make the slaw: In a bowl, combine the cabbage, onion, vinegar, and oil; season with celery salt and salt and pepper. Toss until the cabbage is coated.
Make the BBQ sauce: In a small saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients and cook over medium-low heat to thicken and combine flavors, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sliders: Heat a large cast-iron pan, griddle, or grill pan over medium-high to high heat. In a large bowl, combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram, thyme, chile powder, and beer; season with grill seasoning or with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Divide into 4 equal portions, then form each portion into 3 equal patties thinner at the center than at the edges for even cooking and to ensure a flat surface (burgers plump as they cook). Drizzle the patties with oil. Cook the sliders for a few minutes on each side, or until done to your taste. Baste liberally with the barbecue sauce during the last minute of cooking.
Place the sliders on the roll bottoms and top with a little slaw and a slice of pickle. Set the roll tops in place. Pass the rest of the pickles at the table.