When it comes to tailgate parties, there's nothing better than these ham and cheese slider sandwiches. With a combination of fig jam, caramelized onions, smoked gouda, and ham, it's both a salty and sweet treat. Plus, they're super easy to make!
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the sliced onions. Slowly sauté the onions, stirring occasionally. Once the onion begins to brown, after about 8-10 minutes, continue to sauté until they are reduced in size and deeply browned, an additional 8-10 minutes. Add salt to the onions and remove them from the heat to cool.
1 ½ large onions, ½ tsp salt
Slice the buns in half and arrange the bottom halves of the buns in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Brush the bottoms of the buns with Dijon mustard, reserving 2 tsp. Fold one piece of ham to fit on each bun and top with about 1 tbsp of the caramelized onions, using up all the onion. Evenly distribute the shredded Gouda cheese. Spread the top half of each bun with fig jam and set it on the sandwich.
12 large sweet sandwich buns, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (reserve 2 tsp), 12 oz (12 slices) Black Forest ham, 4 oz smoked Gouda cheese, ½ cup fig jam
Preheat the oven the 350°F.
Mix the reserved 2 tsp Dijon mustard and the Worcestershire sauce with the melted butter. Brush the tops of the sandwiches with the butter mixture and drizzle the remaining butter over the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and place in the preheated oven. Bake until the tops are golden and the cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes.
Wait to salt the onions until they are mostly caramelized. This will prevent too much liquid from being drawn out of the onions while they’re browning. Adding the salt earlier would cause them to caramelize much slower.
The sandwich buns that are used for this recipe usually come from the store as one perforated bundle. You can either slice the entire bundle in half and add the toppings or tear apart each bun and then slice it in half and add the toppings. Either way works. I prefer to tear them apart, assemble them, and fit them into the baking dish.
When brushing the tops of each sandwich bun, opt for salted butter. The salted butter will give a bit of additional saltiness and is a secret flavor bomb to make these even more addictive.
While baking, if the tops of the sandwiches seem like they are getting a bit too brown, you can place a sheet of tin foil on the top. This will preserve the golden brown color while allowing the rest of the sandwich to continue to bake.