I’m bringing you one of my favorite burgers. A harissa lamb burger with feta and pickled onions. Oh yeah.
Ever since I had my first harissa lamb burger, I’ve been meaning to make a version of my own. The first burger of this variety that I remember having was back in my early days in Brooklyn, about 5 years ago. This is when I used to frequent Smorgasburg, a food festival that runs between summer and fall in DUMBO and Williamsburg. I remember loving this burger straight away. That’s probably why I order a harissa lamb burger every time I see it on a menu. It’s about time I cook up my own rendition!!
If you haven’t had a harissa lamb burger, and you know you love lamb and you know you love a little heat, you gotta get into this. I started off by making some quick-pickled red onions for a tangy element. Then, I whipped up a simple harissa mayo. There’s garlic in it, so you can even call it an aioli. Then, the burger. Ground cumin and coriander spice things up and go perfectly with a little harissa paste. If your harissa paste already has a substantial amount of cumin and/or coriander in it, you might not need to add any extra. It’s up to you. Last but not least is the feta, which just goes perfectly with all of these flavors.
These days I find harissa paste to be pretty darn well-known, but I didn’t mean to glaze over the topic. For any of you who are unfamiliar, it’s a Moroccan red pepper paste. It’s spicy and delicious and can be used in SO many different dishes. I definitely suggest picking up a jar. If it’s not so easy to find at your local grocery store, try ordering it online.
- 12oz ground lamb
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 round slices of red onion
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, grated on microplane
- 2 brioche buns, split
- 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (but not pre-crumbled)
- 2 slices of a large tomato
- Lettuce, such as green leaf
- Pickle the onions: Whisk together vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add sliced onions, making sure they are covered by liquid. Cover and allow to sit while preparing other ingredients.
- Mix mayo: Add mayonnaise, harissa, lemon and garlic to a small bowl, and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cook burgers: Preheat a medium-sized pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Mix together lamb, spices and harissa. Form into patty, making a small indent in the center. Add oil to the pan, followed by the burger patties. Sear approximately 4 minutes or until well-browned. Don’t flip any sooner. Cook about 4 more minutes on the second side for medium, or until desired doneness. Remove from pan and rest.
- Toast buns: Reduce heat to medium. Place buns in pan, cut-side down. Toast about 2 minutes or until browned.
- Build burgers & serve: Season tomato slices with salt. Spread mayo on buns and stack burger and toppings, as desired. Enjoy.