Chef’s fabulous lamb-burger toppings
As Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything put it so well in a recent New York Times column about burgers:
“Because lamb is the most full flavored of the everyday meats, it makes a more delicious plain burger than beef. Cooked with nothing but salt, it’s fantastic. Cooked with a variety of spices, it’s a game-changer.”
Chef Suvir Saran’s Lamb Burger, available right here from Allen Brothers, is most definitely a game-changer. If you’re planning to grill some up this summer, take note of Suvir’s tips on how to make sure the burgers come out extra-juicy and delicious:
“Don’t press the burgers with a spatula—you’ll lose the juiciness,” Suvir tells me. “If they’re getting a burnt crust from a too-hot flame, move them to the cooler part of the grill. Dip a wad of paper towels in a bowl of oil to grease the grates before placing the burger on them. Make an indentation in the center of the burger so it puffs up flat and not like a football while cooking. These are great made into small flat meatballs and skewered for the grill, too.”
And one more thing: “Many chefs will brush the burgers with melted butter, and that’s what makes them seem even that much more decadent and awesome,” adds Suvir. “But the Allen Brothers lamb burgers don’t need that—unless you must be over-the-top. These are very juicy and very moist burgers to begin with.”
Suvir likes to serve the lamb burgers on brioche or sesame-seed buns, and to top them with his cilantro-yogurt sauce and a quick cucumber-tomato salad. See below for his recipes for those, and happy grilling!
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 jalapeños, seeded, veined and minced
2 cups fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2-inch piece of gingerroot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt
In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the yogurt and process until fine. Fold the yogurt in, then spread some of this sauce on the bottom half of each burger bun, and more on the lamb burger itself.
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked peppercorns.
Mix all the ingredients together and use as a topping for the lamb burger. Enjoy!