We’re only a couple of days away from the holiday weekend, and chances are that in between your spreadsheets, documents, files and forms, you’re Pinterest-ing away for some delicious grilling and cookout recipes. To help you out, we’ve come up with an incredible lamb burger recipe, developed right here at the Gourmet Food Store kitchens! We’re big fans of flavorful lamb meat, with its bold taste and always-juicy texture. Plus, it’s healthy! Lamb is primarily grass-fed, which means the meat is higher in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.
Start with premium quality ground lamb meat, like Broadleaf’s New Zealand grass-fed lamb, raised in a healthy natural environment in family-run farms (you can find it at SteaksandGame.com at $8.23 per lb.).
After you’ve done your shopping, there are a few tricks to learn to grill up the perfect lamb burger, so read on!
First, mix all the ingredients with the lamb meat well, but gently. You don’t want to give it a Swedish massage, but you want the mix to be dense enough that it will hold its shape during cooking and won’t fall apart on the grill. We also used grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in our mix, not only to add flavor, but also because it helps hold the mix together as it melts. Another tip? Creating a small indentation or dimple with your thumb in the middle of the patty also helps to keep the shape of the burger (otherwise you’ll end up with a puffy ball).
When grilling, always stay away from open flames to avoid flare-ups. You’ll want coals only and a two-zone grill to cook these lamb burgers to perfection. Lamb meat has some great fat in it that needs to be melted to be enjoyable, so you really don’t want “rare” lamb burgers. That being said, nobody likes a charred, overcooked burger, so aim for medium or medium-rare when cooking lamb burgers.
Internal cooking temperatures for lamb:
Rather than going for the traditional doughy burger bun, opt for brioche bread. This enriched French-style bread is perfect for hamburgers. Light but firm, buttery and a bit sweet, it complements the rich flavors of the meat wonderfully.
Finally, go light on the condiments. You don’t want to overwhelm that great, complex flavor that is so particular to lamb meat by over-seasoning it or over-spicing it. We went with some onions and salty capers, and then mixed up a spicy Sriracha mayo to add some zest. A few slices of gooey Brie, and you’ve got the ultimate gourmet burger for your (almost) final summer grilling event this weekend!
Rest, relax and eat! Happy Labor Day!
Recipe development: M. Sorondo for Gourmet Food Store
Photography: M. Semptertegui for Gourmet Food Store