Serves 6 to 8
Grill these burgers over a medium to medium-low fire, the slower the better. You want them to
be 160 degrees F at their centers.
- Burgers: 2 slices whole-wheat bread, torn
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (85%) or half beef and half ground lean lamb
- 1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese or extra sharp cheddar
- Fresh kernels from 1 to 2 ears of corn
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries, each one quartered, or raisins left uncut (optional)
- 2 tight-packed tablespoons each fresh coriander or basil and fresh mint leaves, torn
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground Aleppo chile, Ancho, or cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Ciabatta rolls
- Shredded lettuce
- Sauce made of yogurt, garlic, cucumber, fresh coriander and chile
- Sliced tomatoes
- Shaved red onion
- In a large bowl, crumble the bread and mix with the wine. Let soak while you gather and
prepare the other ingredients. Squeeze most of the wine out of the bread and discard the
liquid. Blend in the rest of the burger ingredients until well combined. The burgers can wait
overnight in the fridge if needed. Have the burgers close to room temperature when you cook
- Grill patties slowly over a medium to medium-low fire, turning often. Test with an
instant-reading thermometer inserted through the side of a patty until the probe reaches the
center. The meat is done when the thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Let the burgers stand
5 minutes before serving.
- Serve the burgers hot on the ciabatta rolls. Open up the ciabatta, spread a little yogurt
sauce on bottom half and top with shredded lettuce. Then add the burger, the onion, and
tomato. Fresh lemon juice is a great finish here.
- The key to juicy burgers is to keep the meat cold, and handle it with a light touch. Shape into
loose patties, and never press down on the meat with a spatula while it's cooking; you'll just
press out the good juices. Finally, let the meat rest, covered loosely with a tent of foil,
before serving so the juices settle into the meat.
- For meatballs once the weather gets cold: Form the mixture into small balls, brown in olive oil
in a skillet, then cook in a light tomato sauce — delicious reheated and so good just eaten on
their own. Of course these and their sauce over a plate of brown rice are pretty swell, too.