Lebanese “Sito” Burger
Colorado has become known for raising some of the best lamb meat.Lamb is something I have eaten since I was a child because my father was Lebanese and lamb is a staple of their diet. So I wanted to combine my favorite food “burgers”, with and flavors I know as comfort food. This burger was created as a tribute to my “Sito” (Lebanese for grandmother) who emigrated here from Lebanon, and inspired me to want to cook for my family and friends as one of the best way to tell then I love them. Lebanese food is my personal version of true “comfort” food. When others choose meatloaf or mac-and-cheese, I choose kibbee, tabouli, and warm naan bread.
Ultimate “Sito” Kibbee Burger
(Note: Sito is Lebanese for grandmother)
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck (80% lean)
1/2 lb ground lamb
2 Tablespoons salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/8 cup olive oil (plus 3 Tbl)
1 cup bulgur wheat medium grind
2 cups hot water
4 Tablespoons warm water
3/4 cup toasted pinion nuts
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/8 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tablespoons chopped mint
3 cloves chopped garlic (finely)
1 lemon juiced (plus 1 for garnish)
12 large “naan” breads or pita pockets
6 Crisp Romaine lettuce leafs (without hard cores)
1 seedless cucumber sliced thin lenght wise
In a small bowl soak bulgur wheat in 2 cups of hot water until softened (about 15 -20 minutes). Remove wheat by handfuls and squeeze to remove all non-absorbed water. Add ground chuck, lamb, salt, mint, onions, and olive oil.
Place a small sauté pan on the grill to warm, add pinions and lightly toast. Add to meat mixture and form patties for 6 burgers, keeping them thin.
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, tahini, lemon juice, mint, onions and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep on ice to chill and firm up.
Brush each surface of each naan with olive oil and cut into rounds approximately the size of the meat patties. Wrap in foil to keep soft, place on cool side of grill to warm, grille slightly after burgers are done.
Take burger patties, brush each side with olive oil, Place patties on grill over medium to medium-low heat and cook on first side for 7 to 9 minutes. Turn to second side and grill 4 to 5 minutes.
Place mayonnaise mixture on both sides of bread, add burgers, lettuce and thinly sliced cucumbers, and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Enjoy with a side of fresh tabouli.