Friday Night Lamb Burgers with Barbecue Bob & Bert
We have been taking turns dining with Roberta, Robert and their family on Friday nights and last night was no exception.
It's hot here in the Philadelphia region so Bob & Bert decided on Lamb Burgers served with grilled eggplant and a yogurt mint sauce, corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. The tomatoes and basil were fresh from Barbecue Bob's garden.
The recipe came from an old Gourmet Magazine dated August of 1997 and the ripped out page was sitting on the counter. There were four burger recipes on the page and there is a great story behind them.
It turns out, Bert, wife of Barbecue Bob, was six months pregnant at the time this particular issue of Gourmet came out and she was craving meat. She happened upon these recipes and asked Bob to go out and get the ingredients for each burger recipe so she could have a different one each night of the week.
Barbecue Bob, being the great husband that he is and concerned about the grief he might face if he didn't obey, ran out, purchased the ingredients and served his wife a different burger four nights in a row. What a guy!
I love hamburgers and I'm not sure why I haven't thought about making a lamb burger before this experience. I suppose I believed burgers were made with beef - end of story.
Now that story has a new beginning and I can't wait to make some myself.
Where to Get Ground Lamb
You may be surprised but a lot of supermarkets now carry freshly ground lamb. They also sell ground lamb in frozen tube shaped packaging but I would stay away from that and go with only freshly ground lamb.
If you do find some freshly ground lamb it probably comes from the lean meat and trimmings from the breast, neck, flank, shoulder, rib, loin, leg or shank.
If they don't have any on the shelves, you can always ask the butcher to ground some up for you. They may ask you to purchase a piece of lamb breast or other cut of meat but then you will really know it is fresh.
Lamb Burgers – Who Knew?
For the Cucumber-Mint Sauce
- ¼ cucumber
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves chopped
For the Burgers
- 4 4 inch pita breads
- 1½ cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 8 eggplant slices grilled
- Start with the sauce so it can sit for a while. Seed and finely chop the cucumber.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the cucumber, yogurt, 2 tablespoons fresh mint and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend the lamb, cumin and the rest of the mint and again season with salt and pepper. Make four equally sized burgers.
- Trim the tops off the pita breads so the openings are large enough to fit a burger. If you like, you can toast the pita bread or warm them up on the grill.
- Cook the lamb burgers the same as you would a beef hamburger to the doneness you and your guests like.
- To serve, place a burger inside a pita bread, add a slice of grilled eggplant, top with a little of the cucumber/mint sauce and finish with a little shredded romaine lettuce.