Monday, April 5, 2010

Lamb Burgers with Feta

I welcome you spring with a beaming smile and open arms, as you are my favorite time of year! The trees are getting some little green buds, a good healthy dose of needed greenery after another long Chicago winter. It was 81F last week and it might snow later this week, but those temp swings will start to even out eventually. Like July maybe.

It's time to find some ground lamb at your grocer, start with a basic lamb burger and create your own signature burger. Perhaps next time topping with an olive tapenade or roasted red peppers. Maybe you'll throw on a cucumber-yogurt sauce. Maybe some smoked paprika or curry, although you will find less than one curry dish on this blog. Curry, cats, and lazy people do not get along with BLT.

Lamb is much more delicious than regular ground beef and it's actually easier to work with than ground beef, as it will form patties without any added elements like egg or bread crumbs. You're not buying preformed beef patties, are you? That's nasty. Get in there with your hands and TOUCH your food. You gotta get familiar with the stuff you're cramming in your pie hole.

Lamb Burgers with Feta
makes 3

1 lb. ground lamb
2 TB shallot, finely diced (onion is fine too)
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 TB parsley, finely chopped
1 TB butter
1 oz. feta or top as you wish

In a small saute pan, sweat onion in a touch of EVOO, stirring often over medium-low heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir, remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, add lamb, parsley, and onion garlic mixture. For 1/3 lb patties, well, you'd make 3 burgers. If you want bigger or smaller, get out the slide rule and do the math.

Once formed, throw in the fridge for 5 minutes to slightly cool down and tighten up the burgers. You can tell when your kitchen/hands are warm and you need to do that, you don't want fat starting to melt. Multiple heat sources can denature this protein- the grill, griddle, frying pan, broiler, campfire, etc. Obviously, grill is preferred. I used the frying pan with lil knob of butter. (grill has not been cleaned up from last time and it's nasty in there) About 3-4 minutes on each side, lamb is pretty lean and you don't want to cook the shit out of it.

Grab the carriage of your choice, like a nicely toasted wheat bun, top with feta. Some spicy mustard and a few homemade dill pickles fo sho.

Get a glass of 60F pinot noir, contemplate what you've just done and the results. You've got all spring and summer.

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