Making kofta burgers before 9am

Ok, while I’m pretty game for cooking anything, anytime, I leave the production of our family’s supply of Tom’s famous, homemade kofta burgers to him. Especially when said burgers must be made before 9am, the situation today. Who can handle the smell of raw beef so early in the morning?! Not I, my friends. So, I brought Jack to school and came home to a house fragrant with toasted cumin, coriander and freshly ground allspice. I, myself, am not a huge burger fan, but my three boys can each eat their body weight in these delicacies.

Should you wish to Lebanese-ify your burgers, here is our recipe, tweaked and perfected over the past two years by Tom (and my willingness to ask local chefs and cooking-types their advice and suggestions):

Tom’s Famous Kofta Burgers

2 lbs 50/50 chuck/sirloin, freshly ground (preferably grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free; Wagshal’s is where we head for ours)

1 large (or 2 med) yellow onion: puree 3/4 of onion almost to a liquid form in the food processor, finely chop the rest for texture

1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 tsp freshly ground allspice (this component is key so don’t omit)

3 T chopped parsley

1/2 tsp ground cumin (best if you toast whole seeds and then grind yourself)

1/2 tsp ground coriander (same note as above)

1 T chopped fresh mint, or 1/2 tsp dried

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

pinch of cinnamon and paprika, if you like

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Shape into patties and grill or freeze. These are great served on whole wheat buns or pita with some/all of the following: hummus, maybe some red onion, Greek-style yogurt, cucumber…