Swedish Meatball Sliders with Tart Berry Aioli

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  36 sliders
Prep Time:  30 minutes Soaking Time:  30 minutes Cook Time:  4 minutes

Swedish Meatball Sliders with Tart Berry Aioli

Swedish meatballs sliders? These herbed burger-lettes topped with tart berry aioli have the flavors of the mid-century classic in a thoroughly modern package.

Ingredients

Swedish Meatball Sliders

½ medium sweet onion, peeled and grated

1 cup loosely packed, roughly torn fresh bread, crust removed, (brioche or challah preferred)

1 cup warm or hot Brown Veal Stock or low-sodium beef broth

2 pounds ground second cut brisket or short rib (meat only; see Kitchen Tips)

1½ pound ground chuck (80% lean/20% fat)

2 large egg yolks

8 cloves garlic, peeled and grated, any green centers discarded

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

½  teaspoon ground allspice

⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

Tart Berry Aioli

½ cup good-quality olive oil-based mayonnaise

¾ cup whole-berry cranberry sauce or lingonberry preserves

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Zest of ½ Meyer lemon

 

36 good-quality slider rolls (see Kitchen Tips)

Arugula, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Make the sliders: Place the grated onion in a bowl of ice water (there should be enough water in the bowl to cover the onions) and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Place the bread in another bowl, pour in enough the stock  to cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the aioli while you wait: Combine the mayonnaise, cranberry sauce or lingonberry preserves, mustard, and lemon zest in a small food processor or a blender and process until almost  smooth, leaving a few random chunks of berries. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate until serving.
  3. Prepare 2 rimmed baking sheets (or more if you have really small ones) that will fit into your refrigerator. Line them with parchment paper.  Combine the ground brisket or short rib and chuck, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Add the bread and stock mixture, which should now be a slurry. Strain the onions through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the water. Add the onions to the meat mixture.
  4. Run your hands under cold water (see Kitchen Tips) and then gently mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are incorporated fully, but do not overmix. Rinse your hands in cold water again, and with a small scoop or a heaping tablespoon, shape small, round patties and place on the prepared baking sheets, about ½ inch apart. You should have about 36 patties. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each patty to allow it to rise while cooking. Cover each sheet with another sheet of parchment paper and then plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill. (You can do this up to 2 days in advance.)
  5. Preheat a grill to high. Place the sliders on the grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes or to desired doneness. Transfer to a clean platter (see Kitchen Tips).
  6. To serve, place the sliders on rolls, garnish with the aioli and some arugula, and serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Have your butcher grind the short rib or brisket for you. The different cuts provide both different fats as well as a variety of meaty flavors, which adds up to a much beefier taste.  It’s worth asking for.
  2. Love to bake? Try making slider rolls. The Weiser Kitchen’s Honey Whole-Wheat Challah and Sourdough Challah, divided and baked  into rolls, will work well with these sliders—just divide the dough into 36 pieces before the final proofing and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and hollow-sounding when rapped on the bottom.
  3. Rinsing your hands in very cold water will help keep the beef cold, so that it can retain more of the moisture from the fat when you cook the burgers.
  4. Always use a fresh plate for fully cooked meat, poultry or fish cooked on the grill;  NEVER place it back on the plate that held it when it was raw, as the original plate holds uncooked juices that might carry foodborne bacteria. These microorganisms are killed during cooking, but placing the cooked food back into the uncooked juices can contaminate it and cause foodborne illness.

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