Yesterday was a gorgeous Sunday. Temperatures were about 75 degrees F, it was breezy and sunny with beautiful billowy clouds. Just a typical mild, Pacific Northwest, summer day. It was a nice day to linger, eat good food, read magazines and hang out.
I semi-ignored the continually mounting paperwork on my desk so that I could work in my garden. My containers on the deck are doing so well. They make me smile every time I see the flowers blooming. Next time I'll take pictures of the flowers on the bottom deck...all shade varieties and more exotic.
It was either stare at our meadow, or do chores...guess what I chose?
But I did do some cooking and these sliders were on the top of my list. I actually started the meat in the slow-cooker the night before so that it was ready by morning. It made it so easy to get this going. A perfect summertime treat and the slow-cooker doesn't heat up your house. Not that, that really matters in the Pacific Northwest (only some very select days).
Anyway, the sliders...SO GOOD! And with that sauce...my oldest boy said, "Mom, what's in that sauce, I love it?" I told him, "A lot of things you dislike, onions, coffee, tomatoes, whiskey (he would hate it if he tried it)." Ha-ha...he was shocked that it just tasted good, it was eye-opening for him...in a good way.
Of course I used my favorite bacon, Carlton Farms, thick-cut and smoked, I swear it makes everything taste good. We love us some bacon in this house!!
You are going to love these! I used plain, crunchy, romaine lettuce instead of coleslaw because the sauce has enough "tang" on it's own. However, a big crunchy dill pickle on the side and some salty, BBQ chips were a must!
BBQ Short-Rib Sliders with Whiskey-Bacon Barbecue Sauce
For the meat:
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 6 pounds boneless beef short ribs
For the whiskey-bacon sauce
- 1/2 pound Carlton Farms, thick-cut smoked bacon, or your favorite bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Tablespoon spice mix (reserved from rib recipe above)
- 1/3 cup Jack Daniel's whiskey
- 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons dark-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/3 cup reserved juice from rib recipe above.
- romaine lettuce
- slider buns
- Add stock and wine to the slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine salt, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne, mustard powder and dark brown sugar. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of this mixture for the barbecue sauce. Add spice mix to the liquid in the slow-cooker and stir until incorporated. Add the meat, it should be completely covered in liquid (maybe a couple little pieces will stick out, it's okay). Turn slow-cooker on low for 8.5 hours. When finished, remove meat to a large cutting board and shred with two forks. Reserve 1/3 cup of the broth the meat cooked in for the barbecue sauce. Place shredded meat back into the slow cooker to keep warm.
- For the barbecue sauce, heat a large, heavy-pan over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until bacon is browned and beginning to crisp. Add onion, cooking until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and crushed garlic. Cook about 2 minutes more. Add the rest of the ingredients (not the lettuce and buns, obviously) and bring to a very low simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add sauce to meat and incorporate fully. Place on slider buns and top with romaine lettuce.
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