There has been a lone pound of lamb resting comfortably in my freezer for a couple of months. It was waiting for a special occasion, but something more down-to-earth took place. I have leftover rice from making Biryani Rice the other day. Even after I filled my large iron skillet with a huge rice pudding, I still have extra rice. So, that rice will get mixed with the lamb and some spices before I shape it into small patties. These tiny taste treats will work perfectly to stuff a pita or wrap in a tortilla. They will make you think of dolmas,
Ground lamb is becoming more common in meat departments of grocery stores throughout the United States. Once a food found mainly in Europe, India, and the Middle Eastern countries, lamb is inching its way into homes across North America. The lamb that I am using in this recipe is raised in the United States. Other countries, such as Australia, also raise lamb for market. Of course, if you have a local butcher who has a supplier near you, that is often a good choice.
Lamburgers with Greek Spices
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon dried dill (I use the Lighthouse brand freeze-dried.)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon black pepper
½-1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or your favorite salt
1 cup cold cooked rice-grains separated
1 pound ground lamb
2 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I use Lea and Perrins.)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ of a large lemon)
Olive oil for frying (I use Kirkland Extra Virgin olive oil from Costco.)
2- 14.5 ounce cans of stewed tomatoes plus one can of water
Juice of half a lemon
5 cups sliced vegetables (I used onions, baby sweet peppers, and summer squash.)
Flour tortillas or pitas
Sliced greens, onions and tomatoes for condiments
Ranch dressing or cucumber sauce
Measure the dried herbs into a large bowl. Crush the parsley, mint, and dill together with your fingers. Measure the garlic powder, minced onion, peppers, and salt into the bowl with the herbs. Put the rice and the ground lamb on top of the herb mixture. Add the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and egg on top of the rice and lamb. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Roll the meat mixture into balls the size of a golf ball. In a 12-inch large skillet, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Heat the skillet until a bit of meat sizzles when it is dropped in. Flatten the meat mixture into slider-sized burgers. Lay them edge-to-edge. Cook them on medium-high heat until they are brown. Gently turn the burgers. Cook the second side on medium-high heat until they are brown. While the burgers are browning, process the stewed tomatoes until they are almost smooth. Pour the tomato puree over the lamburgers and turn the heat to high. Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon over the tomato puree. When the puree starts to bubble, turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Gently remove the lamburgers from the tomato sauce. Some of them may break apart. Save the pieces for wraps.
You know that I can’t just throw all of that lovely sauce out! After removing the lamburgers, bring the sauce back up to a boil and stir in the 5 cups of sliced vegetables. Lower the heat until the sauce is just simmering, and then cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. The veggies can be served as part of the wrap or as a side dish.
Wrap: On a large plate, lay out a warm flour tortilla. Crumble two lamburgers down the middle of the tortilla. Add the cooked veggies and/or sliced greens, onions, and tomatoes. Drizzle ranch dressing or cucumber sauce over the meat and vegetables. Roll the tortilla up, burrito style, and slice the wrap diagonally.
Pita: Open the pocket of a warmed pita. Slip in one or two lamburgers. Add lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. Drizzle ranch dressing or cucumber sauce over the meat and vegetables.
If it has been awhile since you’ve used lamb in a meal, or if you have never used lamb, this is a great recipe to start with. These lamburgers are reminiscent of dolmas, but without the grape leaves. They are presented as an easy-to-serve wrap or pita sandwich. Lamburgers with Greek Spices is a tasty meal for busy people.
When I mention products by brand name, these are the ones that I use. I have not received free products from the manufacturers, nor have I been paid to mention the products by name.
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