As I mentioned in my post about the giveaway I'm doing for Charlie Ayers' book (by the way – time's running out – contest entries are due by midnight, eastern standard time, TOMORROW – that's WEDNESDAY. Just sayin. ** The contest is over now.**) that I was going to try out and post several recipes from the book. I've already written up the Google Hot Sauce, which is fabulous. So what next?
I picked the lamb burgers because I was pretty sure the whole family would like them (they did – actually, the word "love" came up a bunch of times) and because I haven't ever made LAMB burgers. I've made beef…bison…salmon…and veggie. But not lamb. And I love lamb. So – that was that. I made them for dinner last Friday night, along with the Broccoli Rabe and Cauliflower Gratin that I wrote about here.
Part of what makes these burgers interesting is the addition of ground cloves to the mix. Not a flavor you're expecting, necessarily, but it works, along with the rest of the fixin's. The other "fixin's" are the tzatziki sauce and the marinated (they're mildly pickled, actually) onions. It's the whole flavor-fest of lamb and spice and cool and creamy and tangy/sweet that made these a hit. (Well, replace the tzatziki and the red onions with a tomatoey condiment once described as a vegetable and you've got Alex's preferred version.)
So here we go.
Lamb Burgers, From Food 2.0 by Charlie Ayers, pg. 199.
FOR THE BURGERS:
1 lb good-quality ground lamb
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T olive oil
4 artisan-style hard rolls
4 small handfuls of baby spinach leaves
FOR THE MARINATED ONIONS:
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp unrefined light brown sugar
FOR THE SAUCE:
2 inch piece of English cucumber, coarsley grated (I used American and cut more than two inches)
1/4 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
1/4 tsp minced garlic
2 T chopped fresh mint leaves
And here's what you do…
Put the lamb in a bowl and add the garlic, cloves, cumin, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined, then shape into four burgers. (I made five slightly smaller ones because I didn't think my kids would eat the larger size.)
Chill until ready to cook.
Mix the red onion with the vinegar and sugar.
Let marinate while you prepare the sauce. Squeeze the cucumber to remove excess moisture, then mix with the yogurt, garlic, mint, and a little salt and pepper.
When ready to eat, heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan. Sprinkle the burgers with a little kosher salt and brush with olive oil. Cook the burgers until browned and cooked through, 3-4 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, split the rolls and toast them. When the burgers are cooked, assemble your creation with baby spinach leaves, tzatziki sauce, and the drained marinated onions.
Done. If you like lamb, I strongly suggest you give these a try. They're pretty darn good.