Burger Week: Lamb and Goat Cheese Burgers

"What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Oh, that's okay. I make lamb."

Editor’s Note: Burger Week continues Thursday with a barbecue pork burger.

My first lamb burger was this spring in Atlanta. Ri Ra, a national chain of upscale Irish pubs, makes a lamb and rosemary patty with goat cheese. I love lamb in pretty much every form, though I know some people can take or leave it. Like veal, it is considered an elegant meat in nearly every cut, but slightly more affordably priced.

For my inaugural Burger Week, I wanted to try something similar to the Ri Ra burger at home. The herbs are moving along nicely and make a nice complement to the burger. Lamb has a distinct flavor, much like game meats. The sharpness of lamb begs for an herbal influence from parsley and rosemary. The creamy bite of goat cheese seems to be made for this particular dish.

Ketchup is wasted on a burger like this. Instead, try one of two different things. Mix up some of yesterday’s homemade pesto with a little mayonnaise for a savory topping. Or spread some tzatziki sauce — Greek cucumber and dill yogurt — on the roll. The creaminess of the goat cheese should keep the patty moist enough.

Lamb and Goat Cheese Burgers
By Jared Paventi 

  • 10 ounces ground lamb
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbles (if solid, chop coarsely)

Spray the burner of your grill with a non-stick grilling spray. Preheat your grill to high. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl by hand. Split the mix into two evenly divided patties. Roll the meat into a tightly packed ball then gently press until slightly flattened.

Turn half of the burners on your grill to medium-low and half to medium-high. Set the patties on the medium-low side. Cook 10-12 minutes for medium, turning with two minutes to go. Serve hot.

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