Lamb Burgers with Herbs
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Instead of serving these with ketchup try thickening some yogurt by leaving it overnight in cheesecloth.
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, meaty, savory, smoky
Type of Dishhamburger
- Muslin or cheesecloth
- 2 cups low fat or full fat plain yogurt
- 1½ to 1¾ pounds ground lamb
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried fennel
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, quartered (optional)
To make the yogurt:
Line a colander with muslin or cheesecloth. Place the colander over a large mixing bowl. Place the yogurt in the colander, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Discard the liquid in the bowl. Transfer the yogurt cheese to a small mixing bowl and use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 days. (Yield: 2 cups)
To make the burgers:
Place the lamb, mint, basil, rosemary and fennel in a large bowl and, using your hands, mix until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Place the mixture on a work surface and divide into 4 balls of equal size. Form each into a patty about ¾ to 1 inch thick, tossing it back and forth between your hands. To ensure more even cooking, make a ½-inch indentation with your thumb in the center of the burger.
Handle the patties as little as possible; do not work more than necessary.
Prepare a grill to medium-high. When the coals are glowing red, after 15 to 20 minutes, cover with the grate. After 5 minutes, use a wire brush to thoroughly clean the grate. Brush the grate with oil. When the coals are covered with pale gray ash and you can leave your hand 5 inches above the fire for 2 to 3 seconds, the coals are ready.
Sprinkle both sides of the burgers with the salt and pepper. Place the burgers on the grate and grill until well seared on both sides, about 4 minutes for medium rare or 5 minutes for medium.
Transfer to pita bread pockets or a serving platter and serve immediately with yogurt and/or lemon quarters.
Alternatively, place a cast iron skillet over high heat and when it is hot but not smoking add the burgers to the dry pan. Cook until well seared on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare or 10 to 12 minutes for medium.
2008 Sally Sampson