A Singular Perspective

A Blog by Nickel & Nickel Winery

Lamb Burger and Syrah RecipWith Labor Day around the corner, we’ve been daydreaming about biting into one of these incredibly juicy lamb burgers, preferably while sipping a generous glass of Nickel & Nickel Darien Vineyard Syrah.  We love how the earthy flavors of the burger harmonize with our Russian River Valley Syrah’s juicy-savory notes. It’s especially compelling when topped with freshly pickled onions and a drizzle of crème fraiche. Trust us when we say that your wine – and you – will be so happy with this pairing!

Labor Day Lamb Burgers

Serves 4


Lamb Burgers

1-pound ground lamb

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground

½ teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground

½ teaspoon paprika or ancho pepper powder

1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter (divided four ways)

¼ cup crème fraiche

¼ cup fresh-picked parsley leaves, lightly chopped

Four brioche buns


Pickled Red Onion Topping (Optional)

1 cup sliced red onions

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup water

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt


For the Pickled Onions: Bring your vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a small pot. Once simmering, remove the pot from the heat and add your red onions. Allow the onion mix to stand, at room temperature, for 20 minutes before placing in a container and refrigerating for at least one hour and up to three weeks.

For the Lamb Burgers: Preheat your grill to high. While the grill heats, combine your lamb, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and garlic in a medium mixing bowl. Carefully fold the ingredients together, making sure not to overwork your mix. If you make your burger mix in advance, it can be refrigerated for up to four hours.

Split and toast your buns. We like to toast ours on indirect heat on the grill. Then, shape your meat into four equal portions and flatten to one-inch thick patties. Make a small mark in the center of each burger and place a pat of butter in the center. Grill over high heat for three minutes, or until the butter has melted. Rub the burger with the back of your spatula (to distribute any remaining butter), then flip and cook for three additional minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.

To Present: Plate your lamb burgers, topping each with pickled red onions, a dollop of crème fraiche and a generous pinch of chopped parsley.  Layer in additional flavor with garden-grown heirloom tomatoes,  romaine or butter lettuce and a finishing salt like Maldon.  Top it all off with your brioche bun, pull the cork on a bottle of Nickel & Nickel Darien Vineyard Syrah, and enjoy how beautifully the juicy plum, berry and savory-spice notes enhance the burger’s earthy lamb and cool crème fraiche flavors (and vice versa!).

Russian River Syrah in Glass