Mediterranean Lamb Burgers With Balsamic Caramelized Onions, Feta
Looks like a pretty plain burger, ehh? Well, don’t be deceived! That plain look isn’t the fault of the burger, just me as the one who photographed it hehe. Over a week ago, I made these for the first time. We absolutely loved the burger, but I absolutely hated the photos I took of it. So I asked on my Facebook page if the wonderful people who have my page liked trusted me enough to have me post the recipe even though the photos stunk. The answer was an overwhelming yes, that they trusted me enough even if the photos were bad. I was actually kind of touched to be honest.. But…. I just couldn’t do it. I mean, the photos really really stunk. So, I made the burgers again. Nobody minded hehe. They are truly yummy. And I tried the pictures again. Guess what? They sucked too. I am not capable of taking a good burger photo, it seems. I’m posting it anyway because these burgers deserve to be seen… to be eaten… quite possibly to be revered and worshiped on the alter of burgerness. Or something. Sorry. I had a moment there.
Seriously though, these are really really good. Add a few more reallys in there for good measure. Then git to cookin’. You want these. You really do. Don’t let the photo fool you. These are meaty, flavorful, tangy from the onions, a bit of a salty kick from the feta and creaminess from the cheese on top. You could dress these with tomatoes, ketchup, etc etc but they really don’t need anything. The meat is flavorful enough on its own and the onions just put it over the top.
Also, I did these in a grill pan indoors but feel free to grill them on the bbq.
Mediterranean Lamb Burgers With Balsamic Caramelized Onions & Feta Cheese
2 lbs ground lamb
1 egg yolk
6 to 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons Wish Bone brand Mediterranean Italian Dressing
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon zest
choice of cheese for topping burger (I used Havarti)
Sriracha if desired for some heat (that’s what you see running off of mine there 😀 )
6 burger buns
Balsamic Caramelized Onions-
4 medium onions, sliced thinly into half moons
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
salt, to taste
Get your burgers put together first because they will need to chill- In a large bowl, combine all the burger ingredients except the lamb and feta. Mix well. Put the lamb and feta on top and using your hands, lightly mix everything together. Don’t overwork the meat or you’ll have tough burgers in the end (and smushed cheese).
Shape the meat into 6 patties. Again, don’t overwork it but make sure they are firmly together. Put on a plate, cover and chill while you make the onions. These are fairly soft burgers due to the dressing in them so they need to chill some to firm up. Do NOT skip that or you’ll end up with a crumbled mess when you try to cook them.
While the burgers chill, make your onions- in a large pan, heat your oil and butter. Add in the thinly sliced onions and turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Let the onions cook over low heat until they are totally soft and transparent.
Turn the heat up to barely medium and uncover the pan. Stirring frequently, cook the onions until they are a deep golden brown. Don’t rush this by turning up the heat. The process will take at least 25 minutes or so, probably longer.
When they are nicely browned, pour in the balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar. Stir well to combine. Turn the heat back down to low and cook the onion mix, stirring frequently, until about 3/4’s of the vinegar is evaporated.
For the burgers- Heat a good frying pan, preferably a cast iron grill pan, over medium high heat until it is almost smoking hot. Do NOT attempt this if all you have is a non stick pan. They can release toxic fumes if heated too high. If that’s all you have, just heat the pan for a minute over medium heat.
Carefully lay your burgers in the pan (only three at a time for an average sized pan). They will spit and sputter all over so be careful not to burn yourself. Cook over medium high heat to desired doneness, about 130 degrees internal temp for medium rare, 145 for medium. I absolutely refuse to put a temp for medium well or well done. Just eat a shoe :-p
To serve, simply put a burger on a bun, top with a scoop of the onions and some cheese. Eat. Love me forever. Set up a burger alter. Cry because I am incapable of taking burger photos that do this justice.
Before I even get to today’s post, I want to say thank you to everybody who commented on yesterdays post or sent me emails. You have no idea how much your support means to me… to US. We still don’t know what will happen but after talking to Jordans therapist yesterday, I am still scared but not AS scared. He was charged with assault when he was 12 in a very similar situation (over reacting school administration in that case) & was eventually found to be incompetent to stand trial and she (his therapist) feels that this one will end the same way. When he gets violent, he is so not aware of his surroundings or his own mind. So all we can do now is wait and see. And pray. I will keep you all updated. Again; thank you so so much. I adore you all!
Moving on… When I was a kid, up until I was about 13, I thought meat consisted of hot dogs, my mothers garbage soup (don’t ask… it is something I prefer to forget), chicken and dumplings (that was one she cooked wonderfully!) and hamburgers. Then, a magical day occurred. One weekend, I went to visit my dad as usual. He had lamb chops for dinner and he convinced me to take a bite (not sure what I had been having for dinner). Well, it was love at first bite. My dad spoiled me rotten so even though I can’t remember it as fact, I am willing to bet that he didn’t get anymore of his lamb chops hehe. Medium rare… juicy… seasoned perfectly. My dad wasn’t a major cook but oh man could he do meat right! He is the one who taught me that meat shouldn’t be leather…aka well done.
We don’t have lamb often because it costs more than a mortgage payment but every once in a while, I can find ground lamb in the reduced bin. It’s not very popular in this part of Kentucky I guess (lamb in general isn’t except around the holidays) but the stores keep buying it. That’s fine with me cause then I get it when it’s cheap. 😀
Now we all know my love for curry… and spice…and cheese. Add in my love for lamb and some cranberry sauce (yes, I know that last part sounds weird; just trust me on this one. I promise… delicious!) and I had one fantastic burger for dinner tonight! And it was easy as could be. Mix everything together, toss it on the grill or fry pan (ok, so maybe don’t toss… if you miss, it could be messy. Make that set it gently on the grill 😛 ), cook to medium well (I like my whole lamb, like chops, leg of lamb, etc, medium rare but ground lamb does better if cooked more well done.), shove it into a pita (see instructions for tossing onto the grill 😛 ) garnish and eat. Easy huh? So if you like lamb or have just been wanting to broaden your horizons, give this a try. You’ll love it! The mix of the Greek Seasoning with it’s flavors with the subtle flavor of the curry is interesting.
Curried Lamb, Feta & Parmesan Burger In A Pita
1 pound ground lamb
1/3 cup crumbled feta (I used the garlic and herb kind)
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese)
2 teaspoons McCormicks Greek Seasoning
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs (will be far too wet to grill if you don’t use this)
3 pita halves
Romaine or butter lettuce (I used red leaf butter lettuce)
half of a medium onion, thinly sliced
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Get your charcoal grill going to medium high heat. If you have a gas grill, you would know better than I what temp to cook burgers at because I’ve never used a gas grill before.
Mix the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Don’t over mix because 1) you’ll have tougher burgers and 2) it breaks up the feta too much & the nice pieces of cheese in this is one of the yummy things about it)
Shape into 3 large patties. Don’t over handle.
Grill over medium hot coals until the meat is medium well; 150 – 155 degrees F. When grilling, please please please refrain from flipping burgers every two minutes. You really only want to flip ONCE. Get the first side done and when the meat releases easily, it’s ready to flip. If it sticks, leave it for a few more minutes.
Take some of your lettuce and push it down into the pitas. Add a burger to each pita then add a few slices of onion. Red onion tastes best but I also know that’s subjective. Either way, I had to use yellow because my red one had gone bad. Grrr… grrr I say.
Mix your cranberry sauce with the 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes then spoon about 1/4 cup of it onto each burger. Again; trust me on this. The fruity sauce with the burgers is outstanding. But you could also sub mango chutney if you want.