Lamb Burger with Bacon Onion Jam & Aleppo Aioli
By Chef Kevin Markey
This is a fun recipe! One for that backyard summer party when the barbecue is on, the sun is taking hours to set and you want to spend time with guests, not going crazy with kitchen prep. Homemade burgers are always a hit, but why not spice it up a bit with lamb?
These lamb burgers are juicy, delicious and a great pairing with the Sonoma-Cutrer Owsley Pinot Noir.
And, did I mention bacon onion jam? Adding a bit of sweetness with savory bacon is an easy trick to enhance any burger. Not only that, if you make it a couple hours before your guests arrive, the whole house smells like bacon! The Aleppo pepper is originally from the ancient city of Aleppo, Syria. It is less spicy than it is tangy and smoky. As for the aoili, its easier to make than you think and is a great way to impress your guests.
Difficulty Level Medium
2 pounds ground lamb
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Worcestershire
Bacon Onion Jam:
1 pound bacon, large dice
2 large red onions, medium dice
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cold water
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons Aleppo oil
6 tablespoons canola oil (or other light oil, such as corn or soy)
3 teaspoons crushed Aleppo pepper (can be found in the spice aisle of many grocery stores)
Lamb Burgers: Combine all ingredients for the burgers and mix well. Weigh out 6oz. of ground meat and roll into a ball, as if making meatballs. Flatten into a patty of desired thickness and round the edges. Thicker patties take longer to cook, but are juicier.
Bacon Onion Jam: In a large sauté pan heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions and heat on low for 20 minutes or until translucent. Stir every 3-5 minutes to limit sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once the onions are fully cooked (you can tell by putting one in your mouth and biting down. If there’s any crunch, keep cooking) add the wine, vinegar, and sugar and stir well.
While the onions are caramelizing, put your diced bacon in a large sauté pan and turn on low. The best way to get crispy bacon is to cook it low and slow, rendering off the fat. Stir the bacon every 5-7 minutes and as the fat begins to liquidate drain some off. When the bacon is nice and crispy, but hopefully not too dark, add into the onion mixture and stir well to fully incorporate.
Tip: Save bacon fat for future use, it’s great in mashed potatoes!
Aleppo Aioli: To make the Aleppo oil, place the crushed pepper in a small sauce pot and heat on medium for about 3 minutes. Stir continuously so as not to burn the pepper. Carefully add the oil into the pot (turn the stove off while adding the oil). Turn the heat back on low for about 5 minutes and stir continuously.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer, save the oil and allow to cool, dispose of the cooked pepper.
Separate the yolks from the whites, then place the yolks in a blender with lemon juice, mustard, water and salt.
Blend on medium speed. Very slowly add the Aleppo oil into the center of the blender. You will notice that the consistency will begin to thicken. Ideally you are looking for the thickness of mayonnaise. You may not need all 6 tablespoons of oil to reach this thickness. Use within 5-7 days.