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Pop's Big Keftah KaBob Burger

As a child, I spent many a summer sunday standing next to my lebanese grandfather, whom we called "POP", watching him tend to the grill, while our big extended family surrounded us in our sprawling suburban back yard--drooling over the smells of our sunday backyard barbecues. Even back in the early sixties, Pop grilled everything--from Indiana catfish my father and brothers had caught and cleaned themselves--to hot dogs--and corn and so much traditional lebanese fare that was just easier to throw on the grill--then to bother slaving over a hot stove in a then un-airconditioned kitchen!!-- My favorite burger ever, started out as a traditional middle eastern kabob--and evolved into the juiciest, most flavorable and delectable burger I've ever tasted. (I know POP would be so proud!) Enjoy!


-1 pound ground round steak with nice marbling (ask butcher to grind twice)
-1/2 pound ground lamb-trimmed of most excess fat (ask butcher to grind twice)
-1 large yellow onion-either minced or finely chopped..(i like the slight crunch that a finely chopped onion gives)
-1 to 1-1/2 handsful of curly parsley-very finely chopped
-a couple of dashes of kosher salt
-a few good turns of fresh cracked pepper(on the "fine" setting")
-a couple of pinches of "allspice"
-extra pinch of allspice set aside
-extra half onion set aside
-4-6 tbsps of vegetable oil set aside
-8 oz of store bought hummus
-iceberg lettuce for garnish
-thin sliced cucumber for garnish
-6 sesame seed hamburger buns
-4-6 tbsps of olive oil
couple dashes of worcestshire sauce


1. place all ingredients in a big mixing bowl, in the order listed above--EXCEPT FOR THE BURGER BUNS. 2. with clean hands, (yup--ya gotta mix with your hands--or else it won't taste right) mix all ingredients until everything is well incorporated. (if you like worcestershire sauce--add a couple of dashes AFTER you've mixed everything else together--then give it one last toss together) 3. Once everything is mixed, divide meat mixture into 6 equal sized balls. 4. Pat balls in the palms of your hands, into equal sized patties--then place on tray or plate-cover with foil and put in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. 5. Remove patties from fridge approx. 15 minutes before you're ready to grill, and set on counter--covered. 6. Once charcoal is medium high heat--(about half the redness gone from the briquettes) grease the grill rack with a bit of vegetable oil--poured into a little bowl, and sprinkled with allspice, (as much cinamnon as you might sprinkle on coffee). Take half of a peeled onion--stick a fork in the curved side, leaving the flat side exposed. Using the flat side of the onion as your brush, dip into the oil that you've sprinkled allspice on--and brush oil on the grill rack. (the smell is HEAVENLY) 7.. place burgers on grill and cook for approx 7 mins per side (for med rare)-- but don't SMUSH the burgers!!! Just let them cook--and let the juices stay INSIDE. 8. After 14 or so minutes, you should be able to gently press the middle of a burger, and still feel some give in the meat. 9. Brush olive oil on the inside of your burger buns, and grill them for 1-2 minutes, until there's a bit of a crisp, and grill marks. 10. spread a couple of tsps of hummus on both top and bottom of bun. Slide the burger into the bun-- 11. top with iceberg lettuce leave and a few thin slices of cucumber--and dig in!!! don't forget the napkins--you'll need them to wipe all the JUICE dripping down your chin!


for an absolutely delightful sunday barbecue, serve these burgers with parsley, mint, lemon, olive oil and red onion potato salad--- (peel 6 potatoes (one per person) cut into 1-1/2 to 2" cubes...boil in salt water for about 15 mins...drain...while potatoes are still hot, squeeze in juice of half a lemon, a few drizzles of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, 5-8 julienned mint leaves, and 1/4 to 1/2 cut of finely chopped red onion. Toss it all together, chill and serve cold with burgers. Can also throw some pita bread on the grill to eat any leftover hummus!!! *I definitely know what I'm making for dinner this Sunday*!!!