Spicy Juicy Lucy-fer Sliders

The best things come in small packages, just like these mini sliders.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, cut into 12 equal pieces
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 12 slider-size potato buns, split and toasted

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions, spreading them into an even layer. Cook, without stirring, until the edges of the onions are beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Stir the onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and caramelized, another 20 minutes. Add the chipotles, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until fragrant and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven broiler. Divide the meat into 12 portions, about 2 ounces each. Form a patty around each piece of cheese and flatten to 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Put the wrapped patties on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle all the patties with 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Grill until the cheese is melted and the burgers are still a bit pink inside, about 6 minutes. The burgers will be cooked to at least medium in order to melt the cheese but still stay juicy.

Mix the ketchup, balsamic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Brush the burgers with some of the ketchup sauce and divide the rest among the bottom halves of the buns. Place a burger on each bottom bun, top with some of the spicy onions and finish with a top bun. Serve warm.

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