You like hamburgers, right? You'd damn well better - about half of everything we post here is a hamburger recipe. Well, what if I offered you a burger, but instead of a big, juicy patty hanging over the edges of the bun, I told you that I'd instead pound the everliving shit out of the meat and slide it onto a dinner roll for that ever-so-delicious 80/20 bread/meat ratio? You might not think it's a great idea, but you know who does? Every damn restaurant. Everywhere. You can't throw a handful of cholesterol pills in this town without hitting a place trumpeting its' "NEW! Prime Beef Sliders!" And it's not just here in our fair city of Chicago - it's everywhere.
"Waiter? I hate to be a bother, but a bird has apparently begun building a nest on my entree."
Case in point: Washington, D.C.'s Matchbox. I go to D.C. for work a few times a year, and every time I do, people are telling me about the sliders (pictured above) - how awesome they are, how they could eat a million of them. So the last time I find myself in D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood, I hit Matchbox and order them. They come with a pile of greasy fried onions on top, just dripping fryer oil all through the white bread bun. You also get a thin slice of cheese on the burger. And that's it. So they taste like slightly beefy grease. I love greasy food, but not when grease is the only flavor. That's why when we make bacon, we eat the bacon instead of drinking what collects in the pan. But I didn't share this with the waiter, because I hate seeing hipsters cry. Their mascara runs. Yes even the men. Especially the men.
It's not that sliders aren't a delicious food concept. But the execution almost always sucks. It's a pinch of ground beef smashed on a griddle and thrown onto a roll, maybe with a slice of unmelted, somewhat plasticized cheese. Fucking hooray - nothing better than paying $9 for the taste of unseasoned ground beef, bread, and Sysco cheese. Or alternately, "sliders" made of crock-pot BBQ pork, dry shredded chicken, or whatever else they've lot laying around. So maybe the super-expensive high end shit would be better?
"Only $60? Why, that's a bargain! ... Why the sudden urge to cut my own wrists?"
Fuck no, it's not better. Some of your fancier-pants restaurants have decided to put Kobe sliders (or comparable American-raised Wagyu) on the menu. This is actually a much, much worse idea. Kobe beef, depending on the quality and market, costs between $16-30 PER MOTHERFUCKING OUNCE! They're taking the most expensive beef in the world, pushing it through a meat grinder, overcooking it, and slapping it on a brioche bun. Meat like that is meant to be eaten as a rare, in steak form. You don't want a rare slider - ergo, you don't want Kobe sliders. Ever. It is a terrible, terrible idea.
There are easy ways to make excellent, inexpensive sliders that have actual flavor. We will share this knowledge with you later this week, as ranting has left little room for recipes. But until then, let's all rack our collective brains to try and find out what evil douchebag is responsible for this regrettable fad.
Well, that didn't take long
- J.B. Mays