Guest Author - Catherine Bridges
Lamb Burgers with Bacon & Cheese
1 lb. ground lamb
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
ž cup tomato paste
4 slices bacon
4 slices cheese
4 hamburger buns (your choice)
2 tbl. Dijon fruit glaze
1 medium carrot, finely shredded
1 cup lettuce, finely shredded
Blend lamb, onion, rosemary and tomato paste in a medium bowl. Divide mixture into four equal parts and shape into flat burgers. Wrap a bacon slice around each burger and secure with a toothpick. Place on a cold, lightly-greased broiler pan. Broil four inches away from the heat for approx. three minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from heat and place a slice of cheese on top of each burger. Remove toothpicks. Split burger buns in half and grill on each side until lightly browned. Spread base of buns with mustard and top burgers with carrot and lettuce. Place top of bun on top and serve. Makes 4 burgers.
Dijon fruit glaze - combine 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon favorite fruit jam with 1 teaspoon water. Mix well and heat in a saucepan just to loosen jam and let mixture incorporate. Then remove from heat and let cool before using on lamb burger or over slices of lamb roast.
Other condiments well suited to the flavor palate with lamb are mint jelly or lightly crushed fresh mint leaves; a worcestershire-pepper sauce mix; mild chipotle sauce; a fruit-based chow-chow or fruit salsa. Lamb is a lean, red meat with a sweet tendency. You can enhance the sweet by using fruits, fruit juices and complimentary herbs. Or, you can highlight a contrast by going slightly spicy and/or a bit sour.
Lamb also does extremely well when marinated in "teas" of either fresh herbs (rosemary, tarragon, thyme or pineapple sage) or dried herbs (oregano, basil and light, light dried sage). Simply add 2 cups water to a medium saucepan then, add 2 teaspoons of two herbs. Use both fresh or both dried - a mixture of fresh and dried has not yet been successful for me and one herb will overpower the other. For the fresh herbs - crush, tear or chiffonade the leaves to release the herbs flavors and essence into the water. Continue to heat the water to boiling then, turn off the heat and cover. For the dried herbs, bring water to a boil and then, add the dried herbs. Let boil for two minutes then turn off the heat and cover.
Let the herb waters then steep for about twenty minutes. Slice your lamb roast into serving-size portions and layer slices in the saucepan. Cover saucepan and refrigerate overnight. When ready to prepare the lamb, remove slices from the herbal water tea and cook per the recipe. The tea will bring the hint of your favorite herbs right into the meat.
Lamb is little used and sometimes misunderstood as an entree in the United States. Please share your lamb recipes with us!