Cumin-Spiced Burgers with Harissa Mayo
© Con Poulos

Cumin-Spiced Burgers with Harissa Mayo


The Moroccan flavors in these burgers—shaped into ovals instead of the usual rounds—include cumin, harissa and garlic. The sauce: a delectable mix of mayonnaise, caraway seeds and more harissa.

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  1. 3 pounds ground chuck
  2. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  3. 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons harissa
  4. 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  5. 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  6. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  7. 1 large red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  8. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  9. Eight 6-inch oval rolls, split
  10. 1 cup mayonnaise
  11. 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  12. Tomato and cucumber slices
  1. In a large bowl, gently mix the ground chuck with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the harissa, the cumin, garlic powder and thyme. Form the meat into eight 3/4-inch-thick oval patties. In a medium bowl, toss the onion slices with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a grill pan. Cook the onions over moderate heat, turning once, until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Grill the burgers over moderately high heat, turning once, until medium, about 8 minutes. Grill the rolls until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise with the caraway and the remaining 2 tablespoons of harissa; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread the mayo on the rolls. Top with the patties, onions, tomato and cucumber; close the sandwiches and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Serve with a spicy Washington Syrah.