Merlot Candied Bacon, Maytag Blue and Arugula Sliders



  • 24 oz Ultra Thick Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • 3/4 cup Merlot Jelly or other red wine jelly
  • 2 lbs. ground chuck (80/20 blend + seasonings of choice)
  • 8 oz Maytag Dairy Farms Blue Cheese, cut into shards (or Maytag White Cheddar)
  • 6 cups baby arugula, carefully washed
  • 1/4 cup lemon herb vinaigrette, divided
  • Extra Ingredient not in original recipe (only 5 ingredients could be used): 1 small very thinly sliced red onion




  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. Cut bacon strips in half so pieces are smaller. Fry bacon in large skillet over grill grate until chewy/crisp. Drain cooked bacon on paper towels; wipe skillet clean with paper towel.
  3. Brush strips of bacon with wine jelly. Return to skillet over heat for 5 minutes to set jelly onto bacon. Set aside.
  4. Divide ground chuck into 18 portions.
  5. Press into desired shape to fit slider bun.
  6. Depress center of raw burger slightly with thumb so burger doesn’t puff during grilling.
  7. Season patties. Grill patties on one side for 2 minutes.
  8. Flip patties, place a scant 1/2 ounce of blue cheese on each patty top.
  9. Finish grilling patties to medium rare or medium doneness.
  10. Remove and let rest 3 minutes.
  11. Add skillet with candied bacon back to grill to warm.
  12. Meanwhile, toast buns.
  13. Toss arugula and 1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette together. Set aside.


To assemble:

  1. Drizzle toasted bun bottoms sparingly with remaining lemon vinaigrette.
  2. Add cheese topped patty.
  3. Add 2 “short” strips of candied bacon in an X pattern.
  4. Add a few slices of red onion if desired.
  5. Add approximately 1/4 cup Arugula salad mixture
  6. Cover with toasted bun top.
  7. Serve Immediately!


Recipe from Cristen Clark
Photo Credit: WinefestDSM Twitter

Makes 18 sliders