Author Notes: A bistro spin on a classic Middle Eastern flavor combination. When I hear pomegranate, I of think lamb. When I hear lamb, I think of yogurt. When I hear yogurt, I think of fennel, cucumber and cumin. There are probably million ways to put them all together -- as a roast, on a grill, “kebab-ed”, in a salad, you name it… But I have not seen them often on a bun. Not sure why, because it’s finger-licking-good and my most favorite burger of all... - QueenSashy
- 3 pounds ground lamb (preferably from shoulder, and preferably freshly ground at home)
- 1 small fennel bulb (about 6oz)
- 1 small cucumber (about 6oz)
- 1/2 small red onion (about 1.5 oz), cut into paper-thin ribs
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 3-4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon light honey
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Honey Dijon mustard
- 6 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Prepare the pomegranate ketchup. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, pomegranate molasses, honey and the mustards. Mix well.
- Prepare the relish. Peel the cucumber. Slice it in half lengthwise, and then slice each half cross-wise into paper-thin half circles. Let the cucumber rest for about 15 min, and then squeeze gently to release excess water. Cut off fennel stalks close to the bulb. Remove any discolored outer layers, and cut off the root end. Halve the fennel lengthwise without removing the core. Slice the fennel paper thin. In a small bowl, combine the fennel, onion, and cucumber slices. Add the cumin, yogurt, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Divide the meet into six 8-oz portions and form into patties, without massaging the meet or pressing too firmly. Season well with the salt on the exterior only.
- Preheat the grill pan (yes, of course you can, and should by all means do it on a grill, but I do not have one, therefore the grill pan). Grill the burgers until nicely charred externally and medium-rare inside, to about 130-135F on an instant-read thermometer. (Actually, this part is up to you, but I really think that medium-rare works the best for this dish.)
- Place the patties on the bread, top with the relish, and then with the ketchup, and go for it!