Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beef Sliders on Brioche with Sticky BBQ sauce and Thousand Island Dressing

Ever since I started baking brioche buns (see my Pulled Pork burger with Korean Slaw) and using them for mini beef burgers (a.k.a. sliders), there was no turning back. Given a choice, brioche wins over plain hamburger buns (particularly those that are sold by the dozen at the supermarket). Not all brioche buns are created equal. I have ordered brioche burgers before when dining out, and have come across really thick, heavy, dense and sweet buns that makes the mammoth of the burger a feat to eat (and enjoy). The recipe that I've used for these brioche buns is adapted from Taste.com.au magazine (August 2014 edition). Rich, melt-in-your-mouth and buttery with a hint of sweetness, these brioche buns make supremely delicious burgers. I've also tried buttermilk brioche buns and they are equally good, with the slightest tang from the buttermilk.

These beef sliders are saucy, juicy and packed full of flavours. To make them even more awesome, I made a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce along with a "Thousand Island" dressing (inspired by In-N-Out Animal style). This special sauce with an all beef-patty, lettuce, cheese on a toasted sesame seed brioche bun was the perfect albeit-messy-to-eat-with-sauce-smothered-everywhere-but-oh-so-tasty burger. Read on to get the recipes.

Beef sliders

800g premium beef mince (Angus or Wagyu)
1 medium brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Barbecue sauce (adapted from Gordon Ramsay):
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
Salt and black pepper

"Thousand Island" sauce:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3-4 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp worchestershire sauce
2-3 tsp tabasco sauce
Salt and black pepper

To serve:
Brioche buns (scroll down for recipe)
Sliced tomatoes
Lettuce leaves
Cheddar cheese slices
Barbecue sauce
Thousand Island sauce


  1. For the barbecue sauce, heat oil in a frying pan, add onion and garlic with some seasoning and the sugar, and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Cook for 10-15 minutes until onion is caramelising, then add vinegar and let it cook out for a few minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce, mix well and continue to cook for about 8 minutes until sauce has reduced to a dropping consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. For the Thousand Island sauce, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the beef patties, first sauté the onions and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil until softened (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and let it cool a little. Add worchershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the beef mince and gently mix to combine.
  4. Lightly shape into 12 patties. Make a small indent in the centre of each patty to prevent shrinkage while cooking.
  5. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat, and fry each patty for 2-4 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked. Place a cheese slice on the patty and let it melt. Transfer to a plate.
  6. To assemble the burgers, halve the brioche buns and toast them in the pan until lightly browned. Spread some Thousand Island and barbecue sauce on the bottom half, and top with lettuce, tomato, beef patty, Thousand Island and barbecue sauce, and cover with the other half of the bun. Serve immediately with fries and onion rings if desired.


Brioche Buns
Adapted from Taste.com.au
makes 12


2 teaspoons (1 sachet/7g) dried yeast
1/3 cup (80ml) warm milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 cups (300g) strong plain bread flour (+ 1/4 cup extra)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly whisked
120g butter, softened and cut into 2cm pieces
1 egg yolk lightly whisked with 2 tsp milk
1 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Combine the yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes or until frothy.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and remaining sugar in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour yeast mixture and eggs into the well and stir until just combined. Turn on to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment.
  3. Add 1-2 pieces of butter to the dough and knead until well incorporated. Gradually continue to add butter cubes, 2-3 at a time, and knead until well incorporated. With the extra 1/4 cup flour, sprinkle one tablespoon of flour at a time and continue kneading the dough until it's smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). The dough should pull away cleanly from the sides of your mixing bowl. Transfer the dough to a large lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1.5 hours or until dough doubles in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a baking tray with butter. Use your fist to knock back the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Roll each dough into a smooth ball and place on the tray, spacing them out about 2 inches apart. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour to rise and double in size.
  5. Brush each brioche with the egg yolk and milk mixture, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in preheated oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Leave to cool slightly before slicing in half for your burgers.