The Hamburger Recipe That’ll Get You Engaged

July 28, 2017  |  

It’s Hamburger day — in North Carolina at least — but I, a New Yorker, am still excited. I can personally say that I haven’t overdone it this summer on the barbecue front but what better occasion to go in on some delicious juicy burgers than today?!

Now, you know I wasn’t going to come with a regular old burger recipe. There are tons of those out there and pretty simple ones for the cooking challenged. This recipe takes on a bit of a twist however, and if it weren’t for the fact that it was served up to one of my homies I’d likely be engaged by now (seriously – a relationship inquisition followed). #elevateyourstatus.

Most burgers are made with beef, chicken, or turkey which tends to fall into this repetitive cycle of land animal meats that you can only do so much with, coupled with classic ingredients like mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. For this burger however, I’m going to use lamb and turn this whole thing on its head.

Here’s my take on burgers that’s sure to get you to the next level with bae and, dare I say, even make your mama jealous. Behold, lamb burgers stuffed with feta cheese, arugula, and tomato jam.


Tomato Jam:

2 lbs Roma/Plum tomatoes

1 small red Onion

Half cup of brown sugar

1 medium lemon

1 teaspoon of Cumin

Half tablespoon of Paprika

Half tablespoon of Cayenne pepper

Half tablespoon of red pepper flakes

Lamb burger:

1 lb of ground lamb

Handful of parsley

Handful of mint

Half cup of feta cheese

1-2 cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper

Olive oil


Slice open and clean (remove the seeds) from your tomatoes. Chop into small chunks and set aside. Dice the onions and add to the tomatoes. In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onions, brown sugar, lemon and spices and bring to a boil.

A lot of water will develop but do not fear, this is just the tomatoes releasing juices and it will evaporate. Squeeze in your lemon juice and reduce down to a simmer until it thickens and forms a jam like consistency. Take off the flame and allow to cool.

A few things to note, plum tomatoes are best for this recipe because they are firm and have the best tart-sweet ratio for this recipe. Adding lemon juice aids as a thickener by helping to release the natural occurring pectin in the tomatoes. Lemon brightens the entire jam as well.

While your tomato jam is simmering, prep your burgers. In a large bowl, combine your spices, ground lamb and chopped herbs. Drizzle in some olive oil and, with your hands, combine al ingredients. You want to be careful about over mixing or working the meat too vigorously. Too much mixing will give you a tough, dry burger, so you only want to mix until all ingredients are combined. The olive oil helps as a binding agent in of lieu eggs. Personally, I find their addition unnecessary for a burger patty.

Divide your meat into even sized portions (for a pound, you’ll get about 4 patties) and flatten. In the middle, put in a tablespoon of feta cheese.

Gently fold over the meat to conceal the cheese and shape/ flatten into a patty.

Fire up a cast iron skillet or grill and cook the burgers for about 4-6 minutes on either side. I like my burgers medium-well done, but feel free to go a minute or two longer for well-done burgers.

Quick tip: leave the burgers alone when on the grill. The only agitation should occur when you flip them. Please resist the urge to press down the burgers, all you’re doing is compressing it and wasting all your juices. Remember, we want this burger moist.

Take your burgers off the grill once done and set aside to rest for  minute. This gives the meat a second to re-calibrate after being on the heat and lets the juices redistribute. In that minute, pop your potato roll on the grill to toast and warm up.

Now it’s time to assemble. On the bottom pattie, place a thin spread of Dijon mayonnaise (simply mix 1 part mayonnaise to 2 parts Dijon mustard) sprinkle some dill if you have some — I promise it’ll change your life. Layer on your greens, in my case I used arugula for the nice bite it gives.  Place your burger on top of you greens. Add a dollop of your tomato jam and spread some more Dijon-mayonnaise on your top bun.

If you’re feeling fancy, pair with this quick watermelon feta and mint salad. Just combine watermelon, feta and some chopped mint with a drizzle of olive oil.

Voila! You’re done! Dig in because this is going to be good. Remember, wash and moisturize your hands. Primarily for safety – but also the other hand prep *wink wink. * Thank me later, and happy hamburger day to all. #mstomrs


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