While everything we tried was delicious, by far the best thing we had were the meatball sliders. They were tender and meaty, full of herbs, topped with caramelized onions and complemented by a sauce that sort of resembled Thousand Island dressing all piled on a tiny soft buttery bun. They were the kind of unassuming-sounding sandwiches that catch you by surprise and cause you to dream about them later.
I was thinking these would be perfect to munch on while watching the Super Bowl (and frankly I was looking for an excuse to make them) so I set out to recreate a similar dish. I'm thrilled with the outcome.
Makes 16 small sliders or 8 medium sliders
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound all-natural 85/15 ground beef
1/2 pound all-natural ground pork
3 Tablespoons garlic and herb bread crumbs (I used Progresso)
2 Tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 1/2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning (I used Penzey's Tuscan Sunset blend)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 organic all-natural egg
Provolone or Cheddar cheese (optional)
8 medium dinner rolls or 16 small dinner rolls, sliced
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
Thousand Island-like Sauce
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
2-3 Tablespoons good ketchup
|beef, pork, bread crumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, Italian seasoning, salt, egg|
In a medium bowl, mix together the beef, pork, bread crumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, Italian seasoning, salt, and egg. It works best to use your hands to mix everything well. Form 16 small meatballs (about the size you would eat in 2 small bites) with your hands and set aside.
Heat a non-stick skillet to medium and add olive oil. Add meatballs and brown on top and bottom, about 3 minutes on each side. Then cover, turn heat a little lower and cook for another 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
Caramelizing the Onions
While the meatballs are cooking, heat another non-stick skillet to medium-low and add butter. Add onions and salt, and cook until soft and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise and ketchup.
Building the Sliders
If desired you may butter the buns and toast them in a skillet until browned. (My husband likes them this way and I like them untoasted, so I made them both ways.) Spread a little sauce on the buns, add 1 meatball to each if small rolls (or 2 meatballs if medium rolls), top with onions and cheese (if desired), then place tops on sliders and serve.