GRILLED SUMMER SAUSAGE SLIDERS WITH FENNEL SLAW

 

To get ready for game day, I’ve teamed up with Hickory Farms to bring you these fabulous Beef Summer Sausage Sliders.  Each one is topped with tangy fennel slaw, creamy gouda cheese, and crisp iceberg lettuce.  They take literally minutes to make and taste absolutely incredible (and no, I’m not exaggerating!).

Oh, and you better make extra because they will go quickly!

There are three types of people in this world – those that go to football parties for the game, those who are there for the commercials (like during the Superbowl), and those who are there for the food.  I fall into the latter category.  Football parties are notorious for their amazing array of menu items like wings, potato skins, nachos, and of course, sliders.  

For this recipe, I replaced the typical burger (that you would normally find on sliders) for Hickory Farms Signature Beef Summer Sausage.  To keep things simple, I sliced it thin and cooked it indoors on my cast iron griddle pan.   The beef summer sausage turns a beautiful dark golden color and the flavor is really elevated as a result of the high heat.  If you’ve never tried it, you should really give it a go.  It’s strangely similar to bacon when it is cooked this way (although it has more of a yummy beefy taste).

BEEF SUMMER SAUSAGE SLIDERS: THE COMPONENTS

There are four components to the sliders: the buns, Hickory Farms Signature Beef Summer Sausage, iceberg lettuce, and the fennel slaw.  I knew that fennel is used a lot in sausage making so instead of just adding some boring greens, I decided to make a bowl of slaw to serve along with them.   Tip: Be sure to use the lacy fronds as well as the bulb itself for maximum flavor!

I don’t normally eat fennel so I was a bit hesitant to make the slaw.  However, once you combine it with the red bell pepper, celery, onion, and vinegar, it takes on a whole new taste.  It really compliments the Hickory Farms Signature Beef Summer Sausage too.

To get the cheese all melty, stack 2 or 3 pieces of the cooked beef summer sausage onto the griddle, add a slice of gouda cheese, and cover with a metal bowl.  Let this sit for a minute so that the heat can circulate around and melt the cheese.  This is a trick we used in the restaurant to melt cheese for burgers and it works equally as well with these! 

Be sure to add a few pieces of iceberg lettuce (or any other lettuce that floats your boat) and then the top bun.  Keep things tidy with a bamboo toothpick and enjoy!

 

Grilled Summer Sausage Sliders with Fennel Slaw

For the Fennel Slaw

  1. 1 tablespoon honey
  2. 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  3. 2 tablespoons minced celery
  4. 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
  5. 1 tablespoon red onion
  6. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. 1 fennel bulb and fronds

For the Sliders

  1. 1 Hickory Farms Signature Beef Summer Sausage, sliced 1/8" thick
  2. Gouda Cheese
  3. Iceberg Lettuce
  4. Slider Buns

To make the Fennel Slaw

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, celery, bell pepper, and onion. Drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk.
  2. Add the fennel and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Grilled Hickory Farms Summer Sausage

  1. Heat a cast iron griddle over medium heat (alternatively, you can use a frying pan or even an outdoor grill).
  2. Add the summer sausage and cook until crispy on both sides.
  3. Reduce the heat and place the sausage in stacks of two or three slices each.
  4. Add a piece of the Gouda cheese to each stack then cover them with a metal bowl. Let this sit for 30 seconds to a minute or until the cheese has melted.
  5. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

To make the sliders

  1. Cut each slider bun in half.
  2. Add a spoonful of the fennel slaw to the bottom bun. Top each of these with a stack of summer sausage and a few pieces of the iceberg lettuce.
  3. Add the top bun and a toothpick to hold everything in place.

   

What’s on your game day menu?  Do you go for the classics or do you think outside of the box? 

Erin Fesperman is the editor, food stylist, and photographer of Faith Food Family Fun, an up-and-coming food blog which features weekly kitchen tips as well as a variety of mouth-watering recipes.  She has a passion for cooking and has been creating exclusive content for Hickory Farms since 2015.