Turkey Sliders with Red Wine Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
Say hello to these classy game-day buns: rosemary-infused turkey sliders topped with red wine caramelized onions, crumbled goat cheese, and arugula!
If you’re like me, any opportunity to cook or bake with alcohol is a welcomed one. I’m not one for those wall hangings with kitchy sayings on them, but whoever came up with “I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food!” is a genius. So when given the opportunity to come up with a recipe using Garnacha wine, I was ecstatic.
One of the many random tasks I had at my old job was to host Wine Wednesday every week at our market. This meant choosing 2-3 wines to taste out to customers (and myself). When I started, I had no experience in tasting wine. I could tell the difference between white and red, but that was about it. But, I was chosen to do it because the wine steward quit and the company was in a pinch. And because I helped him every Wednesday, I went from being the chick who just stood next to the wine and pretended to know what she was doing to the chick who poured and talked about the wine and pretended to know what she was doing.
After weeks and weeks of tasting wines from all over the world, my palate began to recognize different notes and subtleties. I could distinguish a California Cab Sauv from a Bordeaux. I learned that I preferred herbaceous Sauv Blancs to dry, fruity Pinot Grigios. And I could taste a wine and give it a preeeetty good flavor profiling.
One of my go-to red wines became Garnacha, a Spanish varietal that grows all over the world. What I like most about Garnacha is its adaptability. It is generally low in acidity and blends rich red fruitiness with a kick of spice. As with many other Spanish wines, it’s meant to be enjoyed casually with others. It is what you’d call a table wine; a wine that you’d happily put on your table because it goes with almost everything.
It’s also a reasonably priced wine, ranging between $10-$20 a bottle. I mean, helloooo people. A great wine for under $20? Yes please and thank you.
So in celebrating the imminent Garnacha Day on September 18th, I’ve created these mouthwatering turkey sliders with caramelized red onions and goat cheese. The burger is flavored with rosemary, which perfectly compliments the grassy goat cheese and sweet caramelized onions.
But the red wine caramelized onions is the big star here: adding Garnacha gives the onions an amazing richness and depth that you can’t get with caramelization alone.
Rebe and I ate these sliders with our cousin last week, and I couldn’t stop asking them “Guys, how good are these?” “But these are SO good, right?” I mean, judging by the fact that we polished them off in one night, I am going to say yes, they are amazing. Perfect for your next game day eats (hello Patriots last night, am I right?!). Or perfect for normal dinner if you can’t wait that long.
In a large pan (caste iron preferred), heat the oil on medium heat until sizzling, then add in the onions. Sprinkle with salt and turn heat to low. Stir the onions every 5-10 minutes for 1 hour 30 minutes. Once the onions get light golden brown and sticky, it’s time to pour in the wine. This time could vary based on different stovetops, so go by the color of the onions over the actual time. Pour in 1/2 cup of wine every 5 minutes until you’ve poured in 1 1/2 cups, stirring in between each addition. The onions should develop a beautiful magenta-red color that gets more intense the longer it cooks. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, then remove from heat. You can store the onions up to 4 days in the fridge.
Make the burgers
Combine the bread and milk in a small bowl, allowing the bread to soak up the milk. Mix it around a little with your fingers so it forms a wet paste.
In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients with the soaked bread and milk, mixing thoroughly. Form into 2 ounce patties roughly 3/4″ thick (tip: to get even burgers each time, divide the mixture in half, then each half in half, then those halves in half for 8 equal pieces). Allow to sit for 15 minutes so that everything can marinade together.
Heat a large flat-bottomed pan on medium heat. Cook the sliders for roughly 2 minutes on each side, until fully cooked through.
To assemble, place a patty on a toasted slider bun. Top with 1 ounce goat cheese, 1-2 tablespoons of the red wine caramelized onions, and arugula. I also slathered on some dijon mustard, which added an awesome kick!