I owe it all to Julie. She made these flavor packed lamb burgers (according to Saveur, they were supposed to be kebabs but there were major implementation problems) earlier in the summer and I was blown away— it was as close as I've been to a gryo-esque dinner for years. I realize my tendency to use superlatives might make you a little suspect (I mean, how can everything be fantastic) but seriously, these burgers are out of this world. If you make a little naan (recipe here), a bowl of tzatziki (recipe here) and sauté some red onions with sumac— you'll have a dinner you won't soon forget. Opa!
Ground Lamb, Bulgur & Pistachio Burgers(Adapted from Saveur Magazine, June 2013)
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oregano, roughly chopped
1/4 cup mint, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon allspice
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup finely ground bulgur, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained
1 red onion, sliced
2 teaspoons sumac
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Puree the pistachios and 1/4 cup of water in a food processor until very smooth. Add the oregano, mint, chile flakes, allspice, garlic, green onions, onion and jalapeño and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Add lamb, bulgur, salt and pepper and, using your hands, mix until combined. Form into patties, cover and place in refrigerator for about an hour to set up.
Heat a sauté pan, over medium heat, and add the olive oil, red onion and sumac. Sauté until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Light a charcoal or gas grill and grill the burgers, flipping once or twice, until they are thoroughly cooked— about 12 - 15 minutes. Serve on the naan with sautéed onions and tzatziki.