Sliders with Red Onion Marmalade and Blue Cheese

Here’s how to take something as familiar as a burger and make it special. The red onion marmalade has become a staple at my house; I put it on sausages and pork chops as well as on these miniature burgers. Spicy arugula and sharp blue cheese pair perfectly with the rich beef and sweet marmalade.


Red Onion Marmalade:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 medium red onions, halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup dry red wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Quick Aïoli:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

Olive oil, for coating

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 slider buns or whole wheat dinner rolls, split in half

1 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces)

2 ounces baby arugula (about 3 cups)



The marmalade and aïoli can be made 2 days ahead. Cool the marmalade. Coverthe marmalade and aïoli separately and refrigerate. Rewarm the marmalade, covered, over medium-low heat before using. The patties can be formed up to 4 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.

To make the marmalade:

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and swirl the pan to melt the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the onions are tender.

Sprinkle in the sugar and stir well. Add the wine and vinegar and cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced and syrupy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to very low and keep warm, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, to make the aïoli:

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.

To make the sliders:

Prepare an outdoor grill for medium-high cooking over direct heat.

Shape the ground beef into 8 patties slightly wider than the diameter of the buns. Set the patties on a baking sheet, coat them with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the cut sides of the buns lightly with olive oil.

Transfer the patties to the grill and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the bottoms are browned. Turn the patties over and top with the blue cheese. Grill, covered, for about 2 minutes longer, or until an edge of a patty (not covered with cheese), pressed lightly with a forefinger, feels slightly resilient, for medium-rare. Remove the patties from the grill.

Add the buns to the grill, oiled side down, and grill for about 1 minute, or until lightly toasted, with grill marks. Remove from the grill.

Spread the buns with the aïoli and mound the arugula on the bottom halves. Top each bottom half with a patty, followed by a generous amount of the marmalade and the upper half of the bun. Serve hot.