Mushroom Duxelles Sliders
When preparing the menu for our “Gourmet Game Day,” I was psyched to make sliders. It should be noted that I had never made sliders before — I had never cooked regular-sized burgers for that matter. Also, I am not any kind of burger connoisseur as many of my male friends are, but I do appreciate a savory juicy burger once in a while. Bohemian’s Washu-gyu Sliders still remains a favorite of mine, mainly because the brilliant crossbreed of Kobe beef and Aussie Angus beef just melts in your mouth. But for those of us without easy (or cheap) access to premium ingredients such as washu-gyu, there are other ways to up your burger ante.
The one issue I have with burgers, besides the inevitable grease, is the density. The packed meat alone always feels so heavy and so throwing in garlic, onions, mushrooms, fresh herbs or so will help a lot, like in Natalya’s Russian Côtelettes. However, when you start adding a bunch of other ingredients to the ground meat, it becomes harder to keep the patty shape when cooking and you might have some runaway pieces dropping through the grill. Bread crumbs and eggs are useful to help hold the shape of the meat, like in Spaghetti and Meatballs, but apparently that is a no-no in burgers according to the purists.
So when my friend Andrei sent me a recipe for Mushroom Duxelles Sliders (he is my go-to for anything fatty haha), it seemed like the perfect burger. This burger is a bit more work than most (unless you have a food processor), but it’s worth it! Duxelles is a very classic French recipe that involves sautéing finely-minced mushrooms, shallots, and herbs in butter until they form a paste-like mixture. It can be used in stuffings, sauces (notably Beef Wellington or Veal Orloff), crostini toppings, or baked in pastries. This recipe calls for mixing the duxelles directly into the ground meat, which gave the burgers a wonderful flavor whilst keeping the patty moist and properly formed.
Cooking Notes: Don’t use ground sirloin or anything leaner than 85%, or else your patty will be too dry and fall apart on the grill. Leave the ground meat in the fridge until ready to mix with the mushroom duxelles. If meat is at room temperature, it won’t hold its shape for a patty.
Mushroom Duxelles Sliders (courtesy of Andrei Soen)
Yields: 12 servings (24 sliders)
- Slider buns (dinner rolls work)
- 2 lbs ground chuck or 85% lean ground beef
- Burger toppings: cheese slices, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, beets, fried egg (Aussie style!), whatever you desire. Probably don’t need onions as already in the patty.
Mushroom Duxelles Ingredients:
- 4 T olive oil
- 6 oz butter, unsalted
- 2 medium shallots or 1 small onions, finely chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped (Porcini and Portobello will give you a stronger flavor, but can use any kind of mushrooms or a combination)
- 1/2 C dry white wine
- 3 T heavy cream
- 1/2 T chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 T chopped fresh basil
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Chop all the mushrooms as finely as possible, approaching the texture of breadcrumbs.
Heat oil and butter in a large pan and sweat the shallots until translucent. Add in mushrooms, parsley, basil and cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir often, until you get a softened mixture. Pour in the wine and cook for about 10 minutes until the wine is completely absorbed.
Add in cream and cook just until the mixture holds its shape when stirred. Remove mushroom duxelles from heat and let cool.
Once duxelles is chilled, mix it together with the ground meat.
Form patties with the meat mixture. Don’t make them too thick.
Pan fry or grill patties until preferred temperature. Melt some cheese on it (I used provolone).
When done, transfer the patties to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up some of the excess oil.
Butter and toast the buns. Serve the sliders with all your choice toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, maybe even beets Aussie style! We even spread some guacamole on it… yum!
Below: I made my patties a bit too small here… whoops! Be cognizant of your bun to meat ratio!