A Change of Pace: Dice, Squash, Grill & Top

What to Look for in the Meat Case:

  • Ground lamb is a rising star attraction on menus all across the country. It’s a classic ingredient for many on-trend ethnic dishes–like Greek Pastitsio or Lamb Shawarma–and it brings full, smooth flavor to more standard fare like burgers, tacos and pasta sauces.

 

  • If it looks dense and solid, your burgers will likely come out the same. Shepherd’s Pride and Cedar Springs ground lamb are ideal because they are typically in loose packaging, giving it an almost “fluffy” appearance.

 

Did you know that you can ask your butcher to grind your own special mix? For a winning combination, try a blend of leg meat (trimmed), shank and sirloin.

How to Prepare it:

  • One pound will make about 4 burgers. Using 3-4 ounces of ground lamb, form 3/4 inch-thick patties. Since meat contracts when it cooks, be sure to dimple your patties to avoid the “burger bulge.”

 

  • Time to season your burger! Make your favorite burger recipe but add fresh herbs and seasonings that complement the lamb. Combinations such as these are crowd pleasers:
    • Garlic, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon
    • Oregano, mint, chopped onion and a bit of lemon zest

 

  • Be sure to only salt the outside of your burger. Salt begins dissolving proteins in the meat which may cause a more compact, springy texture, which is great for sausage and many other lamb cuts, but not for burgers.

 

Pro tip: Make sure the size of your raw burger patties are about half an inch larger in diameter than your bun. Then, once it’s cooked, you will have the perfect bun-to-burger ratio.

How to Cook it:

  • Grilling burgers is all about the charred crust while preserving the pink, juicy interior. This is best achieved with creating two heat zones in your grill (low-medium heat on one side and medium to high heat on the other).

 

  • Start your burgers on the cooler side of the grill, cooking for about 4 minutes on each side. Once the internal temperature reaches about 90-100 degrees, move your burgers to the hot zone of the grill.

 

  • Continue cooking until internal temperatures reach 145°F for medium rare, 160°F for medium and 170°F for well done.

How to Serve it:

  • Your delicious, perfectly cooked lamb burger will speak for itself, so be sure not to overdo it on the condiments.

 

  • We like ours with a bit of feta cheese, crisp lettuce and a small spread of garlic/mayo aioli or plain Greek yogurt. Get creative with your own topping concoctions!