If we hadn't eloped last August, today would have been our Wedding Day (insert cartoon bird sigh). I have a hard time imagining how it would have been, really, because I'm so thrilled with how we did it. (Note to Everyone: Elope to Vegas - its AWESOME!)
You know what else is awesome? And also wholesome and delicious? Burgers, duh!
We'd gotten some ground lamb from the farmer's market last weekend, and it just so happened that I'd tabbed the Lamburger recipe in Michel Richard's book (ok, I have an addiction to his book, so what?). Coincidentally, it happened to be our almost-wedding-day, and considering that my diet mainly consisted of cheeseburgers when we visited St. Thomas (we were going to destination wed there), the burgers seemed fitting.
I will say that I only had 1 lb of meat, and it called for 1.5 lbs, so they were a bit un-firm. This did not hurt their flavor however, as this ended up being another night I wish I had spare stomachs. If you try them, make sure you have enough lamb, or else you might lose the burgers through the grill.
So what if I already submitted to Freya and Paul's Big Burger Ballyhoo... they said I could submit again, so I'm gonna! I like the photo with this one way more than the last one... I was still pretty new back then (back then equals a month, but still, that's a lot of practice taking pictures!)
From: Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating
By Michel Richard
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, cut into small dice (about ¾ cup)
4 garlic cloves, 2 peeled, 2 left unpeeled and halved
1 teaspoon ground cumin
One 7-ounce can peeled whole Anaheim chiles, rinsed, drained, and cut into small dice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds boneless lamb loin or other lean cut
4 hamburger buns, split
4 slices mozzarella or about ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
4 large tomato slices
Tabasco green pepper sauce
In a medium nonstick sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat, and sauté gently for about 20 minutes, or until tender and slightly caramelized. Using a rasp grater, grate the peeled garlic directly into the pan (or mince the garlic and add it.) Add the cumin and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the diced chiles and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, spread the mixture on a plate, and refrigerate while you prepare the meat.
Cut away and discard any fat for sinew from the lamb. With a very sharp knife, chop the meat until slightly coarser than ground meat. Place in a bowl, and season with salt.
Once the onion mixture has cooled, add it to the meat. Season with 2 pinches of cayenne and stir together. To test the mixture for seasoning, you can place a small spoonful on a plate and cook in the microwave; taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Divide the meat into quarters and shape into burgers. (The burgers can be refrigerated for a few hours before cooking.)
Preheat the broiler. Place the buns cut side up on a baking sheet, place under the broiler, and toast until golden brown. Set aside, and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
Remove the burgers from the refrigerator. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large pan or skillet, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic halves and heat over medium-high heat. The garlic will flavor the oil; do not let it burn. Place the burgers in the pan and cook, turning once, or about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side, adjusting the heat as necessary, until golden brown on both sides.
Transfer the burgers to a baking sheet and then into the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes. Place the cheese on top and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the burgers are cooked as desired and the cheese is melted.
Place the burgers on the toasted buns and top with the sliced tomatoes. Serve with mustard and Tabasco green pepper sauce.
Serves 4 as a main course.