These mini burgers are absolutely stunning, all smoky from the bacon and paprika and with the sweet and sour hit from the homemade barbecue sauce. People often add too much to their burgers, thinking it will enrich the flavor, but let me tell you, when it comes to burgers, less is more. Trust me.
First make the barbecue sauce. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic with some salt and pepper and the sugar, and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the paprika and stir to combine. Cook for 10–15 minutes until the onion is caramelizing, then add the vinegar and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato ketchup, mix well, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes until the sauce has reduced to a dropping consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside.
While the barbecue sauce is reducing, start preparing the burgers. Cook the bacon in an oiled pan for about 5 minutes until almost cooked through. Add the shallot and continue to cook for 5 minutes until the shallot is tender and the bacon is crisp. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika and mix well. Continue to cook for 1–2 minutes, then remove from the heat, draining off any excess fat on paper towels, and cool.
Season the ground pork with salt and pepper and mix well with the cooked shallots and bacon. Shape into balls the size of golf balls and flatten into patties.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan with a little oil. Season the patties and cook them for 1–2 minutes on each side, basting with the juices until cooked through and colored. Turn off the heat and leave them to rest in the pan. Top each patty with a slice of cheese, allowing it to melt slightly.
Assemble your sliders in mini buns, layered with the barbecue sauce, lettuce, and slices of tomato. Any remaining barbecue sauce will keep in the fridge very well. Serve immediately.