Super Bowl Grub: Sliders with Onion Marmalade or Tomato Jam

There are few things more American than the hamburger and the Super Bowl. The two are just meant to be together. And yet, if you’re having a crowd over for the big game, the last thing you want to do is have to slap a couple dozen patties on the grill and miss the game (or commercials).  I am a huge fan of prepping stuff beforehand, and it definitely sets a tailgating mood when you begin making hamburger patties at 10am. I use 90% lean ground beef, which can be a little tough to keep moist, but with these sliders, the stuffing and toppings help out in that department.

The ingredients, along with incredibly simple prep, are really what make these work.  As for the toppings, I am all for homemade ketchup and use it on many many things, but sometimes you need to up your game. This onion marmalade can be made beforehand and lasts about a week.

Ground Beef Sliders with Onion Marmalade or Tomato jam

Onion Marmalade

1 tablespoon  butter, 3 tablespoons  brown sugar, 4 large onions thinly sliced, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2  tablespoons  apple cider vinegar, 1/2  teaspoon  salt, couple cranks of fresh ground pepper

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat and then add sugar, cooking it until it dissolves. Add onion and garlic to pan. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes, until onions start to color and become tender. Uncover and add vinegar to onion mixture. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently, then add your salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Tomato Jam

Now I must  preface this by saying we made tomato jam during the summer with fresh tomatoes and it just isn’t the same when you use store-bought ones, but still a major step up from ketchup.

8-10 tomatoes, roughly cut, 1/2 c light brown sugar, 1/2 habanero chili, finely diced (I leave a few seeds in), 4 whole cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp fresh orange juice.
The canning was a process but the jam itself just requires you to throw everything in a pot and let it simmer on low for 30-40 minutes until it looks like….jam! Profound, I know. (I do put the cloves and cinnamon stick in a tied-off coffee filter or cheese cloth so it is easier to fish them out.)


Making these patties is incredibly easy and definitely reminiscent of the Play-doh burger maker I had when I was a kid. Each one should look  like a slightly overweight meatball. After prepping toppings, I  get my cast iron skillet good and hot on medium heat and cook the sliders for 2-3 minutes on each side.

For a special touch, I wilt some spinach on the stovetop, then put that in between two very small patties, along with some prosciutto and a slice of fontina cheese. Press the edges together, then cook this until the cheese is melted and you have a nice Maillard reaction crust.

Serve the sliders on toasted brioche or any bread/roll of your choice and set out with the toppings and pickles, sliced onions etc…on the side so people can assemble whatever creation they like.

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