Xi’an-style Smashed Cumin Lamb Burgers with Creamy Herb Sauce
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 4 burgers
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and crushed (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola, divided
  • 1 red onion, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, halved, seeded and thinly sliced (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 4 Potato buns, toasted
  • Lettuce and tomato, optional
  • Creamy Herb Sauce
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped (25 grams)
  • 4 scallion, finely sliced (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt or mayonnaise (or a combination)
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  1. To make the Herb Mayo: Stir together cilantro, scallion, mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, and yogurt (or mayonnaise) until combined.
  2. To make the burgers: Combine the lamb, cumin, Sichuan peppercorns, chile flakes, sesame oil, sugar, mustard and salt in a large bowl. Mix gently until spices are evenly distributed but try not too compress the meat too much. Form into four equal-size balls, cover with cling film and hold them in the refrigerator while you cook the onions.
  3. Preheat a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and sauté the onions and jalapeños until brown and fully cooked, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, turn the heat up to high and add the second tablespoon oil. Place the meatballs in the pan with several inches of space between them (use two pans or cook in batches, as necessary). Use a wide, stiff spatula (or the bottom of a pot) to smash the balls into flat patties, about ½ inch thick. Cook until the bottom of each patty has formed a deep brown crust, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Flip each patty, and cook through, approximately 3 minutes for medium.
  5. Slather herb sauce onto both sides of each bun, add some caramelized onions on the bottom buns and place a burger on each. Top with extra cilantro, jalapeño, lettuce and tomato, if desired.
Recipe by Nerds with Knives at https://nerdswithknives.com/xian-cumin-lamb-burgers/