Lamb Sliders with Rye-Spiked Caramelized Onions

Enjoyed alone or surrounded by loved ones, a casual meal of shared nibbles by a roaring fire is a special winter pleasure.

A Mid-Winter Fireside Feast

Breaking bread by a fire is an ancient, even primal, ritual. It’s grounding, comforting and soothing—who hasn’t lost themselves gazing into the dancing flames? It’s also casual, familiar and natural, and since the days of spreading out a blanket for some alfresco dining are gone for another winter, we suggest you set up camp around the coffee table by the fireplace or wood stove or, heck, no fireplace? No problem! Gather round a few flickering candles, pull up a cushion and reconnect—or zone out—over an easy, bite-size, fireside feast. 

Makes 16 sliders

Sliders are just mini-burgers, and who doesn’t crave a burger every now and then? We love the earthy flavour of grass-fed Canadian lamb, but since we also love flexibility, feel free to use any ground meat you prefer; after all, the rye-spiked caramelized onions do steal the show. And speaking of flexibility, go ahead and use a wrap of your choice: mini-bun, pita, naans or even an iceberg lettuce cup for those going gluten-free.

Rye-Spiked Caramelized Onions:

3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cups thinly sliced cooking onions
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp whole yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup Canadian rye
1 tbsp maple syrup

Lamb Sliders:

2 lb ground lamb, grass-fed and local if possible
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 free-run eggs
2 tbsp 35% cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
Vegetable oil, for frying
16 buns or wraps of your choice

Rye-Spiked Caramelized Onions:

  1. In large skillet over medium-low heat, add 3 tbsp of the vegetable oil, sliced onions, 1 tsp of the sea salt and 1/2 tsp of the pepper.
  2. Stir often, and if onions are browning too rapidly, reduce heat to low.
  3. Caramelizing the onions should take a good while—don’t rush it!
  4. Keep cooking, stirring often, until soft and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Add mustard seeds; fry for about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in rye; let alcohol burn off, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add maple syrup, stir to combine and remove from heat; set aside.
  8. TIP The onions can be made in advance and reheated prior to serving.

Image by Signe Langford

Lamb Sliders:

  1. In large bowl, add ground lamb, 1 tsp of the salt,1 tsp of the pepper, cumin, eggs, cream and garlic.
  2. Using clean hands (remove any bling!), blend meat mixture until fully combined. You shouldn’t be able to see any signs of egg or cream.
  3. Form into patties a little bigger than a golf ball but not quite as big as a cue ball, and bigger than the buns you’ve purchased, as they will shrink a bit when cooked.
  4. Arrange patties as you form them, on a platter or tray.
  5. When ready to fry patties, place a very large skillet or flat grill over medium-high heat; add a tiny amount of oil—just enough to prevent sticking—when pan is very hot, then add the first round of patties.
  6. Do not overcrowd pan.
  7. After about 3 minutes, flip patties and cook other side about 3 more minutes, until both sides are golden brown and meat thermometer reads 160°F (for medium) when inserted into the centre of a patty.

To serve, dress patties with generous dollop of Rye-Spiked Caramelized Onions and any other condiment or fresh veggies you enjoy with lamb.

Signe Langford
Signe Langford

From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for such publications as: LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015. She studied Fine Art History and Humanities at the University of Toronto, and York University; she graduated with honours from OCAD University; she earned her Wine Specialist Certificate from George Brown College.

By The Same Author:

Posted on Monday, April 5th, 2021
Filed under Food | Recipes
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