Mac and Cheese Burger Sliders
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
- A scant handful of parsley, very finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or very finely chopped or pasted
- 3-4 tablespoons onion, grated
- Coarse salt and lots of coarse black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
- 1/2 pound small elbow macaroni or ditalini or small elbow whole wheat macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg (a few grates)
- 1 cup very sharp yellow or white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Gruyère or Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about a handful)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Ketchup, for topping (optional)
- Bacon-Tomato Jam, for topping (optional)
- 12 slider-size burger buns or split brioche rolls
Combine the meat with the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, garlic, onion – grate the onion directly over the bowl to catch its juices – and some salt and lots of pepper. Form eight 3-ounce patties, making them thinner at the center and thicker at the edges for even cooking. Drizzle the patties with EVOO.
Heat a cast iron skillet or large griddle pan over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, boil a medium size pot of water and add salt. Undercook the pasta by a minute or so from the package directions, just shy of al dente. Drain and reserve.
While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat, sprinkle in the flour and whisk for 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk and season the sauce with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Melt the cheese into the sauce to combine, then turn off the heat and stir in the Dijon. Fold in the reserved macaroni.
Cook the meat patties in the hot skillet for 3 minutes on each side for medium doneness. Serve on buns or rolls topped with some mac and cheese and a dot of ketchup or some Bacon-Tomato Jam, if you wish. Secure the bun or roll tops with toothpicks and anchor a slice of pickle atop the burgers for a cheeky presentation.