Lamb Burgers with Onion Marmalade
When it comes to burgers, I’m a purist. I regard an classic In-N-Out burger as one of the world’s more perfect foods, up there in the Californian pantheon of carne asada, fresh tortillas and warm churros.
But a lamb burger recipe on Brooklyn Farmhouse caught my eye, with its onion marmalade and spicy patties. Its unconventional ingredients – reduced onions, cumin, coriander – are staples in our kitchen, no matter the cuisine at hand. (Raised in East Africa in an Indian household, my husband maintains that every dish, from spaghetti to stir fry, could benefit from onions and a dash of spice.)
This burger proved him right – it was phenomenal. We had to forego the harissa called for in the original recipe, and swapped in arugula for mint and kale, though I’d give those all a spin the next time around. With the sweet onion marmalade and fresh pickles from Chestnut, these sandwiches may not be So-Cal style, but they’re definitely in the running for a perfect Brooklyn burger.
Spicy Onion Marmalade
Both recipes adapted from BrooklynFarmhouse.com
2 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
3 whole dried chiles or 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion slices and stir to coat. Add the thyme, chiles, salt, and a few grindings of black pepper. Turn the heat down to low.
Cook the onion mixture, stirring occasionally, until the onions have cooked down and have caramelized, 30-45 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water if you notice the onions sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the honey and the balsamic vinegar to taste. Taste and correct for salt. Remove any remnants of the whole chiles (if using) before serving.
1 pound pasture-raised ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Sharp white cheddar, to taste
Whole wheat rolls or hamburger buns
Preheat the grill. In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, the cumin, the fresh and ground coriander, the garlic, and the salt. Mix gently with your hands (do not over mix or your burgers will be tough). Form into four even balls, then flatten the balls slightly.
Place the lamb patties on the grill. Cook until grill marks appear, 3-4 minutes. Flip patties over and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes for medium rare. (Cook longer for a more well-done burger.)
Place each burger on a warmed roll or bun, top with cheddar cheese, a dollop of the spicy onion marmalade, and arugula.