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Recipe courtesy of Michael Sohocki

Latin-Spiced Lamb Burgers

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  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1 1/2 teaspoons whole black pepper

1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons cayenne powder

2 cloves minced fresh garlic


2 pounds grass-fed ground lamb (antibiotic-free, hormone-free)


About 1/3 cup dried ancho chiles, caps removed and seeded

About 1/3 cup dried pulla, caps removed and seeded

About 1/3 cup dried pasilla, caps removed and seeded

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sour cream

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small clove garlic, chopped

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 tablespoon salt

Cream (just enough to thin mixture to a saucy consistency)


6 ciabatta buns, about 6 by 4-inches

3 ounces Cotija cheese

Red onion, sliced

Tomato, sliced

Lettuce or spring green mix


  1. For the patties: Toast pepper, coriander and cumin together in a dry pan until they crackle and pop (shake pan constantly). Their color should be light brown, and spices should smell like toast, popcorn, smoky, etc. Pour them straight into a coffee grinder and blend the seeds to a fine powder. Mix all spices, garlic and salt well into the lamb. Form into 6 even patties.
  2. For the sauce: After weighing, rip the dried peppers open to shake out the seeds (a few seeds left in is ok). Throw the peppers in a saucepan with the water, and boil over medium heat until only 1/4 cup of liquid remains at the bottom. Add the peppers (with cooking liquid), sour cream, oil, garlic and lime to the blender, and blend it until very smooth. Add salt and blend again. Add cream and pulse a few times just to incorporate and get a saucy, squirtable consistency.
  3. Grill the lamb patties and the ciabatta until nice, dark grill marks are everywhere (lamb is at its juiciest around medium rare). Put about 1 teaspoon of sauce on each side of the bun. Slice the patties in half to lay lengthwise on the bread, and crumble Cotija cheese on top. Dress with plenty of juicy tomato slices, onion and lettuce. Cut sandwich lengthwise (along the seam of the lamb patty) and plate with cross-section facing outward.