I’m not a big meat eater usually. Throughout my life I’ve been some form of a vegetarian, or “cute-itarian” (more on that later), for periods of time starting when I was 14. This is because I adore animals! I’ve had many animals in my life including, but not limited to, hermit crabs, gerbils, hamsters, cats, dogs (including my love Cricket, of course!), and horses. There may even have been a fish or two in there as well! I even rescue the occasional injured bird or abandoned baby mouse in hopes of nursing them back to health and releasing back into the wild! When I was little I would make my mom pull off the side of the road to feed any grazing horses that I had spotted, and I was always on the lookout! So when I got old enough to understand more about meat and where it comes from I decided not to eat it.
Eating no meat at all was difficult and since my family ate meat I often was left with some bleak choices for dinner, so I decided to become a self-proclaimed “cute-itarian.” I defined that as: only avoid eating animals that are cute (according to me)- such as cows and pigs, but since fish, chicken, and turkeys didn’t really do it for me in the cuteness department they were good-to-go to be placed on the menu.
I stuck to my “cute-itarian” theory for a while, and somewhere along the way, I don’t quite remember when, I gave up on that too and went back to being unrestricted. I learned more about how animals are raised for production in college and then decided to at least try to eat meat and eggs from animals that are raised humanely and as naturally as possible- ie grass fed, no growth hormones, grain-free, etc. This was both for the betterment of the animal’s well being and for mine as well. I am now a strong advocate for buying local, natural, organic, pastured meats and eggs. And did I mention that they taste amazing as well- so much better than their conventional counterparts at the grocery. (For more information on the benefits of pasture raised beef click HERE.)
So in celebration of local pastured BEEF, I made some delicious Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Sliders that are so delightful! They are easy to make, and I love stuffing the cheese inside, as opposed to on top! Dress them up with some dark green lettuce, fresh tomatoes, red onion, and avocado and you’ve got the burger of champions!
Cheddar & Bacon Stuffed Sliders
Cheddar Bacon stuffed hamburger sliders made with local pastured ground beef on top of a whole wheat bun
- 1.5 lbs local pastured ground beef
- 2-3 strips of pastured bacon (chopped into small pieces)
- ½ cup shredded pasture-raised cheddar
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- lettuce (tomato, red onion, avocado for toppings)
- 8 gluten-free or grain-free slider buns (Recipe at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen: http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/08/24/the-ultimate-paleo-sandwich-rolls/ or you can use iceberg lettuce or as a “bun”)
- Place the ground beef in a bowl, and add the worcestershire sauce, mustard, and a few dashes of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly
- Place the chopped bacon in a pan and saute over medium-high until crispy.
- Remove the bacon once it is done and let it cool on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat
- Place the shredded cheese and bacon pieces in a bowl and mix so they are distributed evenly.
- Next, with your hands, make bacon cheese balls about ½” to ¾” large by smooshing the mixture with a decent amount of pressure, this will make them easier to stuff.
- Form 2” ground beef patties and use your finger to poke a hole in the middle of one side, but not all the way through.
- Insert a cheese and bacon ball and cover the hole up completely.
- Grill the stuffed patties on medium-high until they are cooked according to your preference.
- I also like to brush the buns with a little olive oil or butter and grill them as well, and press down with the spatula to flatten them.
- Top your sliders with condiments and toppings and enjoy!