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
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- 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.
- Brush strips of bacon with wine jelly. Return to skillet over heat for 5 minutes to set jelly onto bacon. Set aside.
- Divide ground chuck into 18 portions.
- Press into desired shape to fit slider bun.
- Depress center of raw burger slightly with thumb so burger doesn’t puff during grilling.
- Season patties. Grill patties on one side for 2 minutes.
- Flip patties, place a scant 1/2 ounce of blue cheese on each patty top.
- Finish grilling patties to medium rare or medium doneness.
- Remove and let rest 3 minutes.
- Add skillet with candied bacon back to grill to warm.
- Meanwhile, toast buns.
- Toss arugula and 1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette together. Set aside.
- Drizzle toasted bun bottoms sparingly with remaining lemon vinaigrette.
- Add cheese topped patty.
- Add 2 “short” strips of candied bacon in an X pattern.
- Add a few slices of red onion if desired.
- Add approximately 1/4 cup Arugula salad mixture
- Cover with toasted bun top.
- Serve Immediately!