Nascar BurgerIts that time of year…and we are sooooo ready for NASCAR events to begin.  For Tumbleweed Contessa’s family, NASCAR means barbecue.  We began our preparations with a trip to the Savory Spice Shop at the Arboretum in Austin.  Armed with some cumin and other unexplored spices, we are ready to get grilling (or have a man in the house do so.)  There was a family meeting on whether to have turkey, beef, chicken or veggie burgers (really, who has a veggie burger?)  We decided on beef and hit the store – while we use a lean beef, don’t go too lean because you lose all the flavor.  You can flavor your meat as we have suggested below or with variations (add some chopped shallots, onions, chives or jalapeños) and go heavier or lighter on the seasonsings depending on your taste.

We also like to make our burgers smaller — go sliders!  You can pick up slider buns at most local grocery stores.  You can also ask them order those buns if they are not regularly stocked.  My store does not regularly stock them.  Once they are grilled, the toppings complete your unique slider or burger.  We have ketchup, mustard, mayonaise, red onions, pickles, olives for olive tapenade, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, and a variety of cheeses to melt over the top (American, blue, swiss, cheddar, jack, pepper jack.)  For a tangy twist, flavor your mayonaise with your favorite flavor.  I like balsamic vinegar and Worstershire, horseradish or wasabi — just a little goes a long way.

Today, we have agreed to have some chips and baked beans, but any of your favorite burger side dishes will do just fine. Rev your engines because its time to get back to NASCAR and time to get grilling with our burger bash!  Its a Slider celebration!

  • 2 pounds ground beef (93% lean)
  • 5 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning (or your favorite steak seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons Worstershire Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder

Mix it all up and let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes, while you chop the toppings.  Shape them into balls of about 1/3 cup and flatten them out.  Make sure to put a thumb print smack dab in the middle so they cook evenly.  Since its raining today, we are grilling inside on the grill pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on your first side and 2 minutes on the other.  A little longer if you like them cooked more than medium. Melt the cheese before removing from the grill and you are ready to eat.

This makes between 12 and 16 sliders.

I updated this for the Grilling party at This Week’s Cravings in August.  Still good!