Lamb Burger Provencal a la Hubert Keller
Author: Hubert Keller, Burger Bar
For the burger:
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seed lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seed lightly crushed
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
For the Red Pepper Relish
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced plum tomatoes, or 6 plum tomatoes
  • 1-2 Jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper
Make the burgers
  1. Toast the spice seeds, if using, in a small pan over medium-low heat until they are fragrant and a little browned. (See note). Add the wine and honey and increase the heat. Boil until reduced by about half. Mixture will thicken and be slightly syrupy.
  2. Put the lamb in a large bowl. Add the spice-reduction mixture, garlic and onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently mix together. Shape into patties of equal size and shape. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as much as 24 hours.
Make the relish
  1. Place the bell pepper on a foil lined baking sheet and place about 5 inches under the broiler. Broil, turning as needed, until the pepper is charred on all sides. Let the pepper cool then peel it, seed it, and chop into small dice.
  2. Stack the six basil leaves on top of each other and fold over twice. Using a sharp knife, cut the basil into fine strips (chiffonade).
  3. If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel, seed and chop them coarsely.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the basil, and cook until the tomatoes are soft and the flavors come together. This will take about 5 minutes if using fresh tomatoes, and 3 minutes or so for canned tomatoes.
  5. Add the basil, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  6. Put the relish into a container. Stir in 1 tablespoon of good quality olive oil. Cover and set aside until needed. If you are not making the burgers that day refrigerate the relish and bring back to room temperature before serving.
Cook the burgers.
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Sauté the burgers in a little oil 2-3 minutes on a side until brown.
  3. Place the pan in the oven to finish cooking the burgers, 5-7 minutes for rare to medium-rare (125-135 degrees).
Serve the burgers on a bun with lettuce and some of the relish. Extra relish on the side.
Recipe Notes

Note: if you are unable to find whole coriander and cumin seeds, substitute ¼ tsp each of roasted and ground coriander and cumin. Proceed with the recipe from the addition of the liquids.