Lamb's had a few moments—shaved super thin into carpaccio, for example, and the necks were all the braise for a while. But this summer, we're bringing back one of our favorite ways to eat one of our favorite meats: in big, bursting-with-flavor burger form.
When we decided that 2015 was, in fact, the Summer of the Lamb Burger, food editor Andy Baraghani (a Team Lamb stalwart, in case you haven't noticed) set about making the juiciest, most balanced patty on the planet.
After tweaking the spice levels and experimenting with patty sizes, he came up with this juicy burger, lightly scented with cumin so as not to overpower the meat (ground coriander and a pinch of cinnamon would work well, too). And to top it: a cool, creamy yogurt sauce bursting with cilantro, mint, parsley and oregano, as well as quick-pickled red onions, which add bite and crispness to the meaty sandwich.
Just make sure not to overwork the meat when forming the patties, so you don't end up with a dense burger. Then grill 'em for a few minutes on each side and get ready to post your #instalamb.
Lamb Burger with Herbed Yogurt and Pickled Onions
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 burgers
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
For the Herbed Yogurt:
1 cup whole Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Lamb Burgers:
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1½ pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 hamburger buns, split in half
1. Make the herbed yogurt: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with the lemon zest and herbs. Season with salt to taste and stir to combine. Set aside.
2. Make the lamb burgers: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar and honey. Add the onions, then season with salt to taste and toss to coat. Let the onions macerate for 20 minutes at room temperature to soften.
3. Using your hands, gently mix the lamb, cumin, 1¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper together in a large mixing bowl, making sure not to overwork the meat. Form into four ¾-inch patties. Using your thumbs, form a small indent in the center of each patty, so that it stays flat while it cooks.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, preferably a cast iron one, over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, cook the patties until lightly charred on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer for medium doneness. Remove the patties from the skillet and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. While the patties are resting, toast the buns in the skillet until slightly brown around the edges, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
6. Spread the herbed yogurt on the cut sides of the top and bottom of each bun. Transfer the burgers to the buns and top with pickled onions and the remaining top buns and serve.