Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lamb Burgers

I've written about lamb burgers here before at least once. So sue me, but I think ground lamb makes some of the juiciest and tastiest burgers. And unlike beef, which purists insist must only be seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, it doesn't seem to be a sin to spice up lamb a bit. True, the already strong flavor can stand up to some fancying. And so I take advantage of that and go to town with the spice rack.

Middle Eastern flavors seem to work best with lamb, so I added sweet spices like allspice and cinnamon to this batch of burgers, and a handful of pistachios as well. Topped with a tangy preserved lemon mayo (just chop 1/8 of a preserved lemon finely and add to commercial mayo) and my homemade beet ketchup, a bit of cheddar cheese and sauteed onions, they were rich and exotic tasting, and not all that much more involved than making beef burgers.

Of course, you do need to have preserved lemons and beet ketchup hanging around the fridge....

Pistachio Lamb Burgers

1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash cayenne
Your favorite cheese (I used  Trader Joe's cheddar flavored with caramelized onions,)
Sauteed onions
Sliced tomato

Put pistachios in a plastic baggie and bash them with a meat tenderizer until some are pulverized into dust, some are small pieces, and a few are chunky bits. Combine with the lamb and seasonings. Make 4-6 patties.

Cook patties in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until browned and crusty on both sides. Top with cheese, lower heat, and cover pan for a minute or so until cheese melts.

Serve on buns with thinly sliced tomato, sauteed onions, and beet ketchup.

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