So I’m getting married in fewer than 30 days. Where does the time go?! Specifically, the time in which to plan seating arrangements and make place cards? No matter, I couldn’t be more excited for the big day. And I can’t wait to forgo this sort of pre-wedding diet of lots of kale and egg whites for a big juicy burger.
Truth is, I already broke my diet to test out this amazing recipe. And while I’m sure a tiny bit of my enthusiasm was in the simple act of eating carbs and cheese and red meat together (just.so.good.), I promise it’s a really great burger even if you’ve been eating a more satisfying and normal diet.
I hold a good burger in high esteem. It has to be cooked just right – medium rare – with a toasted bun, a few crunchy onions, and a healthy dose of cheese. Over at the Ace Hotel, chef April Bloomfield’s The Breslin serves such a burger and it happens to be made with lamb.
This simple recipe highlights quality meat. If you have a meat grinder attachment, this is the time to try it out. The Breslin uses a mixture of leg and shoulder meat with just enough fat to keep it juicy without approaching greasiness. They serve their burgers on buns that are sort of a cross between ciabatta and hamburger buns – soft and doughy on the inside without too much crunch on the outside. I substituted a loaf of ciabatta and while it was a little crunchy, it totally did the trick.
- 16 oz ground lamb*
- 1 small ciabatta loaf or 2 hamburger buns
- 1 small red onion, cut into thin slices and soaked in ice water*
- fresh feta cheese*
- Divide ground lamb into 2 patties about 8 ounces each.
- Generously season both sides of patties with salt.
- Heat a grill pan or grill until hot, grill burgers until they develop grill marks (about 2-3 minutes); flip and repeat.
- Cut ciabatta (if using) into bun-size patties.
- Place ciabatta or buns on grill, outsides down, until toasted.
- Continue to grill burgers, flipping frequently, until medium-rare, about 8-10 minutes in total. Remove from grill to rest.
- Using a spoon, drain feta from its liquid and smear against the top half of buns until you reach an even layer of cheese.
- Drain onions.
- Plate burgers on buns with a few slices of red onion and serve.
*These are big burgers - you could easily divide this into 3 burgers - just don’t forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
*Soaking the onions helps take away some of their raw bite. Feel free to omit this step if you like super pungent onions on your burgers.
*If you can’t find fresh feta in liquid, look for a block of feta that you can slice and place on top of the burgers rather than smearing onto the bun.