Port Sliders with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions

in Appetizers, Beef, Burgers & Sliders, Caramelized Onions, Cookouts & Picnics, On the grill, Wine

Port Sliders with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Craft brewing is where our attention has been the last couple of years but wine making is how we started. We’ve bottled several varietals over the last 5 years but our favorite – our absolute best – is the port. It’s a sweet ruby with dark berry and chocolate notes.

It’s a rockstar. And with ~20% acohol content, it’s easy (craaazy easy) to drink. And it’s awesome to cook with. After rephotographing the Red Wine Burgers recently, we decided to make some fancy burgers using our port.

Port Sliders with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions

We simmered our 2010 port to a reduction, concentrating the flavors and burning off some of the alcohol, and then mixed the reduction into some lightly seasoned lean ground beef. That port-infused beef went onto the grill as slider patties. And then we topped those sliders with sweet caramelized onions, a tangy crumbled goat cheese, and the remaining port reduction, sandwiched on an “Everything” slider bun.

Fancy burger, indeed!

And… then we both ate more sliders than we would have if I had just made normal-sized burgers. For some reason, it’s hard to resist small plate- and individually-served dishes. Yes, but they’re so small! I can probably have just one more, right?

Nope 🙂

Some of our other favorite dishes with port:
Flank Steak with Balsamic-Port Reduction and Goat Cheese Polenta
Roasted Cherry Brownie Sundae
Brined Pork Chops with Blackberry Port Sauce
Blackberry and Pinot Noir Glazed Meatballs
Tiramisu Cupcakes
Fall Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese

Port Sliders with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Sliders infused with a port wine reduction, topped with caramelized onions and goat cheese.


  • 2 cups port
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, sliced into ~1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Crumbled Goat cheese, for serving
  • Slider buns, for serving (I used Everything buns)


  1. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, reduce the port and sugar to 1/2 cup (this will take ~30-35 minutes).
  2. While the port is reducing, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add the onions.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have nicely caramelized, about 30-35 minutes. (If necessary, reduce heat and add a couple tablespoons of water to keep them from burning.)
  4. Heat grill to medium-high.
  5. When the port reduction is cool enough to touch, crumble the ground beef into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle 1/4 cup port reduction over top and lightly mix with your hands.
  7. Form slider patties (you'll get 8-9 2-oz patties) and cook to desired doneness, 2-3 minutes on each side.
  8. Serve the sliders on buns of your choice, topped with caramelized onions, a spoonful of remaining port reduction, and crumbled goat cheese.


Yields: 8-9 sliders

Inspired by Red Wine Burgers

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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