Springtime Lamb Burgers with Rajas and Grilled Onions

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Last week a reporter from TheBigTino, a new online news magazine covering Latino food, entertainment and arts, asked if he could come to our house to interview us for an upcoming feature story. We’re media whores so of course we said, yes, and “we’ll even cook you lunch!” 

Since Easter is quickly approaching, we tossed around a few ideas — deviled egg sandwiches, a new twist on a roasted ham, but we finally, and thankfully, landed on the idea of lamb burgers. Our family celebrates Easter at a local park where close to 100 people come out and grill their steaks and burgers on at least three pits. You can always have plain old hamburgers and hot dogs. A lamb burger will re-awaken your palate. The smoky, roasted poblano peppers and grilled sweet onions will put your springtime burger over the top.  Yet, even with the toppings, the burger still tasted like lamb. We like our lamb a little pink in the middle, but feel free to add a few minutes to your cooking time.  The reporter walked away with a full tummy and a new found love for LatinoFoodie. How could he not?

Lamb Burger with Rajas Poblanas

Extra virgin olive oil
3 large Poblano peppers
2 large yellow onions, 1 sliced in ¼ inch rings, 1 small diced
¼ teaspoon salt
2 good pinches of red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground lamb (85/15)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh oregano, finely chopped
Zest of 1 large lemon

Dress your burger:
¼ cup mayonnaise
6-8 really nice hamburger buns
1/3 cup stone ground mustard
2 cups arugula
6-8 slices havarti cheese

Rub the peppers with just enough oil to coat. Working with one Poblano pepper at a time, place the peppers directly over your range over a medium-high flame and char. Allow the peppers to get black and blistery. Place in a plastic bag and allow to steam for 15 minutes.

Coat a large skillet with oil. Over a medium flame, add the diced onions, salt, and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, allowing to cook just until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a paper towel, rub off the black charred skin of the peppers. (Optional: Cut a small slit in the peppers to remove the seeds.) Cut the peppers in to thin strips. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion/garlic mixture with the lamb, pepper, salt, cumin, mint, oregano, and lemon zest. It is easier to use your hands.

Dimple your patties

Divide the lamb mixture into 6 equal pieces. Form into patties. Use your thumb to make a dimple in the center. This will make sure your burger cooks in the middle. (You have enough lamb to make 6 really good sized burgers or 8 smaller patties.) Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until your onion ring slices are cooked in the next step.

Coat your skillet with oil. Cook the ¼ inch onion slices over medium flame, stirring occasionally. Allow them to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Add the Poblano peppers the last 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Rajas and onions

Using the same skillet, coat with oil and cook your patties over a medium flame for 4-5 minutes each side for medium-rare. Allow to rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Lamb Burger with Rajas Poblanas

Build your burger:

Mix the mayonnaise and mustard until well blended. Spread some on both sides of your buns.

Place some arugula on the bottom bun and top with the lamb patty. Add a slice of cheese.

Pile on the onion and Poblano pepper slices and top off with the hamburger bun.

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