Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers

Lately, this pregnancy has me craving beef tacos and burgers, things I don't typically cook, which I was quickly reminded of when I went to pan-fry these burgers and they made a giant mess, splattering oil all over the backsplash and stove top. Oh, right. Meat.
These burgers in particular were inspired by the one Matt ordered at April Bloomfield's The Breslin when we were in New York a couple of months ago. At that time, I wasn't craving burgers and so, sadly, only had a bite or two of Matt's as I had ordered a sensible salad, which begs the question: what was I thinking? (The Breslin is the kind of place where you order meat.) 

But don't feel too sorry for me. On the same trip we did have the most amazing meal/experience at Daniel, and I got a delicious bowl of ramen at Momofuku, not to mention the hotel breakfast each morning. (One of my favorite things in the world is a fancy hotel breakfast!)

Point being, our take on the burger was delicious. Not quite Breslin material, but delicious nonetheless. Though next time, I think we'll make lamb meatballs, which Matt and I agree would be easier to stuff into the pitas. 
In related news: I'm almost 32 weeks pregnant and the proud owner of both a stroller and a car seat. I also turned in my book manuscript! Though I can't celebrate too much because I'm sure I'll have lots of editing to do. But still, it felt good to send off the giant Word document.  

Now I can turn my attention to Thanksgiving-dinner planning. I'm thinking about tackling this bread wreath and these cupcakes. What about you guys?

Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers adapted from Living and Eating
makes 4 burgers

for the burgers:
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
salt and pepper
(1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking burgers)

to serve:
Shirazi salad (this recipe will make more than you need, but it's so delicious on its own, it really shouldn't be a problem.)
tahini sauce (recipe below)
pita bread, at least 4
feta (optional)

for tahini sauce:
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup hot water + perhaps a little more

Make the tahini sauce by combining tahini and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisking with a fork until smooth. Add the hot water and whisk some more. If it seems pretty thick, add a bit more water until it's the thickness of something you can easily pour into your pita pocket. Season to taste with salt. Set aside or refrigerate if you're not using until much later.

Mix all the burger ingredients in a bowl. Shape a quarter of the mixture at a time into a ball, then flatten to a burger 4-inches in diameter. You can make these in advance, then cover and chill them.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the burgers for 5-6 minutes per side. Meanwhile, toast the pitas in the oven or toaster. Slice open the pitas and stuff with your own personal mixture of burger, tahini sauce, salad, and feta, if using.


Matthew said...

That was such a fun trip! I've had that burger on three consecutive NY trips now -- let's go back soon. xoxoxo

Sara said...

These look fantastic! Are meatballs ever a bad idea?

Sara said...

P.S. Do you recommend Living and Eating?

Dorie @ Brooklyn Salt said...

That's one labor intensive (no pun intended) turkey cupcake. I wish I was cooking for the holiday, but I'm scheduled to go to my Dad's non-traditional pulled pork and lasagna Thanksgiving.

elizabeth said...

I love your blog and can't wait to read your book! I am spending Thanksgiving with the in-laws and will probably help make some kind of dessert.

Amelia Morris said...

Hi Sara! Yes, yes I do recommend Living and Eating! Pretty sure it's out of print, but it's a really beautiful book with lots of simple recipes and fancy ones (they think are simple) too.

Amelia Morris said...

Hi Dorie! Does the lasagna have pulled pork in it?! Either way, sounds amazing!

Amelia Morris said...

aww, thanks, Elizabeth!! So nice to hear.

Ileana said...

That bread wreath is beautiful! I need to figure out the pie situation for our dinner.

Colleen said...

Those look absolutely delicious!

Alex said...


Cardinham | Killgrew said...

Ok, so I am not sure if you are all into game meats. A friend of mine gave me some fresh venison the other day....so I have been using it in everything I can find. I had ground venison that I mixed with maybe 25% ground beef to add a bit more fat into it. Same recipe just substituted. It was Amazing! The venison was a bit lean but the 86% beef fat helped and it was delicious.

cardinham | Killigrew
Cardinham | Killigrew