These steak sliders with caramelized pears, onions + gorgonzola will satisfy your sweet and savory autumn cravings.
The other day I found myself staring into an open fridge faced with a half-eaten wedge of gorgonzola and a craving for Philly Cheesesteak. What’s a girl to do? If you’re anything like me, and hate to see a perfectly good hunk of cheese go to waste, you start down the rabbit hole of food association — like the word game, but with food.
Gorgonzola…steak / pears / honey.
And so it goes. Long story short, I landed on these little guys and so glad I went down that rabbit hole. YUM!
If you’re a gorgonzola fan, try my Boozy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce — it’s great over steak and chicken or mashed potatoes and polenta!
One of my favorite cuts of beef is the flank steak. (The other being a giant ribeye!) It cooks quickly, has amazing flavor, is pretty lean and inexpensive. It works well with so many types of cuisine and methods of cooking, but I’m partial to grilling it.
Whenever I prepare flank steak, I always score the flesh in a cross hatch pattern before seasoning. This really lets you get your herbs and spices into the meat. Once cooked and rested, making very thin slices against the grain yields tender pieces perfect for sandwiches.
PEARS + ONIONS
Bringing out the sweetness of the onions and breaking the pears down into tender caramelized bites requires a little patience and time. For this recipe, the onions are cut into small wedges. The pears get cut in half and cored. Then, slice them perpendicular to the cut side to create thin pieces similar in thickness to a sliver of onion. If your pear is particular long (like mine was), you can cut those slices in half.
These cook for about 45 to 50 minutes over medium heat, or lower depending on your burner. You need to stir them every few minutes to prevent scorching and to make sure they cook evenly. The addition of honey kickstarts that caramelizing process and the apple cider vinegar brightens it all up.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
The great thing here is that while your pears and onions are cooking, you can prep and cook the steak. And while the steak is resting, you can toast your slider buns. It all times out pretty well. From there, it’s simply a matter of slicing the steak and assembling your sliders.
I served our steak sliders with caramelized pears, onions + gorgonzola with a simple arugula salad on the side for a no-fuss side dish. Oven fries, roasted brussels sprouts or root vegetables would also make a delicious and easy accompaniment.
STEAK SLIDERS WITH CARAMELIZED PEARS, ONIONS + GORGONZOLA
Pears + Onions
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions cut in half, then sliced into thin wedges
- 2 bosc pears peeled, cut in half, cored, sliced thin
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 lb flank steak
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 12 brioche slider buns or your favorite slider buns
- 6 oz gorgonzola sliced or crumbled
Caramelize the Pears + Onions
- Melt butter with olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and pears to the pan along with honey, vinegar and salt. Toss to coat. Add in sprigs of fresh thyme. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally to prevent burning and for even cooking. This will take 45-50 minutes to get soft and caramelized.
Prep the Steak
- Meanwhile, make your steak seasoning by combining 1-1/2 tsp salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder, cumin, mustard and brown sugar in a small bowl. Liberally season both sides of the flank steak.
- Remove any hard fat deposits from the flank steak. Make shallow, diagonal cuts across the steak in one direction, then again perpendicular to the first cuts. This will create a crosshatch pattern. Repeat on the other side.
- (Indoor) Heat a grill pan or heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking the steak for another 3-5 minutes on each side. (Outdoor) Heat the grill on high. Reduce to medium-high and sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side. Continue cooking the steak over indirect heat for another 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Remove it to a dish or cutting board and allow it to rest while you prepare the garlic butter and rolls.
Make Garlic Butter
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once it's nice a hot, add the minced garlic and immediately remove it from the heat.
Prep the Buns
- Dip the inside surface of your slider rolls into the garlic butter and toast them buttered-side up in a 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes or buttered-side down in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. The idea is to get a little crunch on the surface but have a warm, soft interior.
Assemble the Sliders
- Cut the flank steak into very thin slices. To each roll, add a few pieces of steak, then onions and pears and finally about 1/2 oz of gorgonzola. Add the tops.
Please leave a comment if you try these and let me know how they turned out!