Bison Short Rib Sliders

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 16 Sliders

Short Ribs:

5 pounds bison short ribs
1/4 cup butter
3 celery stalks, rough dice
2 large carrots, rough dice
1 medium onion, rough dice
1 1/4 cups red wine
1/2 cup beef or game broth
1/3 cup Sherry
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 large fresh thyme sprig

Pickled Caramelized Onions:

1 tablespoon butter
2 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced
4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Assembly:

Butter, room temperature
16 slider buns
12 ounces of old white cheddar, sliced
4 cups baby spinach wilted

METHOD:

Short Ribs:

Sprinkle bison with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook bison until browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, Sherry, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprig; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Season with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot, propping up on sides and arranging in single layer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour.

Using tongs, turn ribs over in pot. Cover and simmer until ribs are tender and sauce is very thick, occasionally rearranging ribs in pot to prevent sticking, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Uncover and cool 30 minutes.

Transfer ribs to work surface. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprig. Spoon off fat from sauce in pot. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces. Return meat to pot and prepare for assembly.

Pickled Caramelized Onions:

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until almost all vinegar is absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl; cool.

Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Microwave in 15-second intervals until lukewarm before using.

Assembly:

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Butter all your slider buns; place buns buttered side down, and toast in oven until golden brown. Once toasted, flip the bottom bun of each sandwich and remove the tops from the tray and set aside. Divide short rib mixture among the bun bases, about 1/4 cup for each. Divide cheese among sandwiches. Spoon about 1/4 cup onions over each sandwich. Place large handful of wilted spinach atop onions. Place the tops back on the buns and return sandwiches to the oven until warm and melty. Enjoy!