Garam Masala Lamb Burgers With Dates and Bacon Lardons

Wine Varietal: Gewurztraminer

Spicy garam masala seasoned lamb contrasts with salty bacon and sweet dates. The flavors remind me of Indian and Moroccan dishes, bringing the complexity of both together in perfect burger harmony.

Ingredients:

LARDONS
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch wide lardons

PATTIES
2 pounds ground lamb (90% lean)
2 tablespoons garam masala
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup ice water
6 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
6 ounces plump moist pitted dates, slivered

Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 sesame seed Kaiser rolls, split
1/2 cup Dijon mustard mayonnaise
6 small crisp iceberg lettuce leaves
6 sesame seed Kaiser rolls, split

Instructions:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the lardons, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the lardons with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

To make the patties, combine the ground lamb, garam masala, garlic, salt, cold water and parsley. Mix lightly, being careful not to compact the meat. Divide the lamb mixture into 12 equal portions and shape into thin patties that are slightly wider than your rolls. Divide the slivered dates evenly on top of 6 patties, top with the remaining 6 patties and pinch the edges together. To ensure even cooking, place a thumbprint in the center of each patty to help it hold its shape. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium. Warm the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack.

To assemble the burgers, spread the cut sides of each top and bottom roll with Dijon mustard mayonnaise. Add a lettuce leaf to each bun bottom, followed by a patty and 4 or 5 lardons. Add the bun tops and serve.