I was in the mood for lamb burgers (and as you read in the previous post, you know a burger does qualify as a sandwich). We’ve been growing a ton of parsley and mint in our herb garden, and I wanted an excuse to use some of it. The lamb burgers recipe I use calls for mint, parsley, ground cinnamon, and paprika.
Our rule is whoever is home first usually has to make sure there’s wine in the house. My hungry Han Solo was home early that night and had a bottle of wine open before I walked in with groceries. Good man.
Lamb burgers are my go-to meal. I’ve made them several time for E, and each time I’ve improved on it. For this meal, I decided to keep it simple–burger on an English muffin with regular leaf lettuce and red onion, with an accompanying salad of tomato, cucumber, red onion and feta.
The key to a tasty burger is to put the cheese inside the beef mixture before you cook it. There’s nothing better than gooey cheese oozing around the beef with every bite. And when you incorporate the cheese into the beef, you don’t have to worry about all that gooey provolone or cheddar overpowering the meat or burning the roof of your tongue when it’s layered directly on top of the burger.
I’ll be honest, I sort of forgot about the dressing with this sandwich–I should have done a dill and yogurt sauce, and that’s what I’d recommend. You can’t just throw ketchup and mustard on this burger, it will ruin the Mediterranean flavor of it. But I made due with plain ol’ creme fraiche because I forgot to buy dill. Oh well, it was just as savory.
The below recipe, borrowed in part from Epicurious.com, makes three large lamb burgers or four small ones, depending on how large you like your burgers.
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
4 English muffins
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/3 cup creme fraiche
4 or 5 leaves lettuce
5 plum tomatoes
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinagrette
Burgers: Chop mint and parsley finely and place in large bowl. Add salt, cinnamon, and half of the chopped paprika. Then add meat. Mix well, and add olive oil. Shape mixture into burger patties. Cook on medium heat in a large nonstick skillet for 4 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove from heat, and place on paper towel on large plate. Toast english muffins to your liking. Place lettuce on one side of bun, then place lamb burger on top. Dollop with creme fraiche and small slices of red onion. Top with other side and smush down, gently.
Salad: slice up the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion to your liking (I like slicing each thin, then quartering into bite-sized pieces). In a small separate bowl, pour the balsamic vinaigrette, and slowly add the oil while briskly stirring the mixture with a fork, so the vinaigrette blends evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add to the vegetables. Thrown in whatever parsley you didn’t use for the burger. Mix and enjoy.