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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lamb Burgers, with all the extras

Looking for something tasty and different?  Skip the hamburger; embrace the Lamb Burger!  These were served along with pickled red onions, home made tzatziki sauce, and a Greek relish.  You can buy ground lamb in most major supermarkets, but if you have the choice, purchase whole lamb meat and ask them to grind it for you at the time, it will be much fresher.   

Lamb Burgers
1 pound ground lamb
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil,
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Tzatziki Sauce
1 medium cucumber, halved and seeds removed, then grated
1 cup Fat free, plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, Crushed
1  teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1  tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt & Black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil

Pickled Onions
½ red onion, thinly-sliced
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon unrefined light brown sugar

Greek Relish
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted Italian red peppers
1/4 cup pitted and chopped marinated Kalamata olives
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh crumbled Feta cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Preparing the onions:
The thinner you can slice the onions, the better this will be.  Unfortunately, I was in an hurry and the onions in the picture below are away too thick.  Mix the vinegars and sugar together, submerge the onions in the mixture, and set in the fridge to marinate.  By the time you are finished with the burgers, these will be ready.

Preparing the onions:
Prepare the cucumber as stated above.  Using a food processor, puree the garlic cloves with the salt & pepper.  Add the cucumber, yogurt, olive oil and dill, the pulse it and give it a taste.  Add seasoning if needed, then remove to a bowl in the fridge until needed.

Preparing the relish:
Prepare the peppers, olives, cilantro and garlic as stated above.  Mix them well in a large bowl with the Feta, salt & pepper.  Add in the lemon juice and olive oil, then mix to coat.  Give it a taste test and adjust salt & pepper if needed.

Move the finished relish in a bowl, and put it in the fridge with the other condiments until the burger is finished and ready to assemble.

Now for the burgers:
Next comes the main act.  The main concern here is not to overwork the meat.  The more you squeeze and mix it, the more tough it may end up.  Start off by taking all of the ingredients for the burger (except the meat) and mixing well in a bowl.  Crumble small pieces of the ground lamb mixture into the bowl, lightly stirring together until all is loosely mixed.  Now you will divide the mixture in half, and loosely form each half into a patty.  These will shrink some on the grill, so if you make the patty just larger than your bun it will work out perfectly.

I left them in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up, and then it was off to the grill.  Grill these over medium coals, turning only once.  Now, as they cook, they are going to lose a lot of grease, so you are going to have to keep an eye out for flare-ups.  Just don't overcook them - these were done to 150° internally as was read on a digital thermometer.

Here you see the finished product, assembled and ready to be consumed.  The buns were toasted to help keep the burger together when all assembled.  From the bottom up, there is tzatziki, pickled onion, the lamb burger patty, and finally the relish.  Layers and layers of flavor.

Halfway through it, and boy that lamb is tasty!  Notice that it is not pink like a hamburger might be, but trust me, it's not overcooked...

1 comment:

Seafood Risotto said...

That looks really delicious. I've never ever tried a lamb burger before even though lamb's my favorite meat. This should be better for my health too!

Gonna give this a try. Thanks for the recipe.