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The Kitchn: These easy sliders prove lamb isn’t just for the holidays

Nicole Rufus, on

For the longest time, I thought lamb was strictly reserved for holidays like Christmas and Easter. (My mom doesn’t eat lamb, so I only ever ate it when I celebrated holidays at friends’ houses). But about five years ago, I had my first lamb burger at a restaurant in Brooklyn, and I realized what I’d been missing. It was one of the best burgers I’d ever had, and I became determined to create my own version — in slider form, that is.

The best thing about the burger was how well-seasoned it was. When cooking lamb, you don’t want to drown out its unique flavor, but you do need enough of a kick to counterbalance it. That’s where harissa — a Tunisian chili paste made up of peppers, citrus, cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds — comes into play. Its flavor perfectly tempers the richness of the lamb, and trust me: Once the sauce (or powder; it’s sold both ways) is in your kitchen, you’ll find endless ways to use it.

These sliders also include quick-pickled red onions, crumbled feta, and a harissa mayo that I now use on a variety of sandwiches. I still eat lamb rather sparingly, but these sliders are proof you don’t have to wait for an extra-special occasion.

Harissa Lamb Sliders

Serves 6 to 12

For the pickled onions:


1 small red onion (about 3 to 4 ounces)

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup cold water

1 teaspoon granulated sugar


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