Canadian Beef Sliders with Maple-Rye Caramelized Onions

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Hosting this summer? You NEED this recipe for beef sliders. It’s easy, it’s delicious, but most importantly, it’s an absolute crowd favourite. Nothing says backyard barbecue like a huge board of beef sliders piled high with toppings and sauce spilling out. They’re messy, they’re classic, and they’re just delicious. And in honour of this great nation’s 150th birthday, I decided to add a Canadian spin to the classic beef slider by adding maple-rye caramelized onions for a subtle hit of sweet and smoky.

My Dad is a true purist when it comes to burgers: meat, bun, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, and yellow mustard (don’t even THINK about Dijon). So when I mentioned I wanted to make a special Canada Day slider, we was confused. Why mess with a good thing? And I agree with this, but sometimes, a good thing could be just slightly better.

How bad could onions caramelized in maple syrup and Canadian rye be? The maple brings out the natural sweetness in the onions, while the rye adds a smoky flavour which pairs perfectly with the beef slider. This is a small fancy addition that takes just a few minutes, and will really take your slider to the next level.

To respect my Dad’s wishes, I didn’t mess around too much with the other toppings. I opted for tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and I sprang for grainy Dijon (don’t worry, my Dad loaded his up with yellow mustard instead). Everyone was happy. These all-Canadian beef sliders are a real crowd pleaser in my family and they’re perfect for your next backyard BBQ or Canada Day party!

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Canadian Beef Sliders with Maple Rye Caramelized Onions

Try this Canadian spin on a classic slider by adding onions caramelized in sweet maple syrup and smoky Canadian rye. 

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

For the burgers

  • 1 Package of Canadian lean ground beef (about 500g)
  • 2 Shallots, diced
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 8 Mini slider buns

For the caramelized onions

  • 2 cups Onions, thinly sliced (about 3 medium onions)
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Canadian Rye
  • Tobasco

Toppings

  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 Pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Handful of lettuce
  • Grainy mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to high heat. 

  2. Start with the caramelized onions. Cook the onions with the butter, salt, and pepper over medium-low heat until they are tender and start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Just before serving, turn the heat up to medium-high, and add the maple syrup and Tobasco, followed by the rye. Let the alcohol cook off for about 2 minutes, taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve. 

  3. For the burgers, combine the beef, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper and egg in a bowl with your hands. Just mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Do not overwork. Form the burgers into balls just slightly larger than golf balls, flatten the top just a little, and lay them down on a baking sheet. Cook directly over high heat on the grill 4-5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Let the burgers rest 5 minutes before serving. 

  4. Prepare your toppings, toast the buns, and assemble! Add whatever toppings you're craving, but I chose to stick to the classic lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mustard. Enjoy!

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