Middle Eastern spiced lamb and lentil burger

 

Ingredients

 

2# leg of lamb including outer fat layer cut into cubes

½ cup green lentils cooked in salted water until tender and skins start to burst (about 25 min)

1 large onion sautéed in 1 tbsp butter with a pinch of salt (for 20 min until brown)

1 Tbsp garam marsala spice

2 tsp cumin

1.5 tsp coriander

1 lemon juiced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup roasted and salted cashews

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 eggs (cracked)

1 tbsp salt

1.5 tsp black pepper

4 tbsp olive oil (for cooking burgers)

8 hamburger buns

1 recipe of yogurt sauce (recipe below) (make this before the burger to let flavors meld)

2 large tomatoes sliced

8 leafs of romaine lettuce

 

Yogurt sauce

Ingredients

½ cup yogurt

3 Tbsp chopped mint

1 large red apple peeled and grated

½ lemon juiced

1 tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Making the burger

 

1.)    Pre-heat oven to 350 f

2.)    Toss all ingredients in a large bowl

3.)    Using a food processor or food grinder attachment of kitchen aid grind all ingredients in small batches

4.)    Toss ingredients again and make a small burger patty.  Cook it in a large sauté pan and taste it for seasoning.

5.)    Correct salt, pepper, lemon, too taste

6.)    Form into 8 large burgers

7.)    In 2 large sauté pans put 2 tbsp of oil into each and heat over medium

8.)    When hot at burgers to pan cooking 5 min/side

9.)    Finish in oven about 5 minutes until cooked through

                                                                                        

Directions

1.)    Combine all ingredients and taste for seasoning

2.)    Adjust if necessary

3.)    Serve on top of burger and add tomato and lettuce

 

Notes

I have always thought that lamb and lentils would make a great burger.  I didn’t get a chance to put them together until recently when a bunch of leftover lamb and lentils from production needed to be used up.  Something about lamb and garam marsala makes an incredible flavor pairing.  The earthy and sweet spice tones bring out all the richness and balance the slight game flavor of the lamb.  If you can’t find leg of lamb buying ground lamb at the butcher counter will work, but grinding it yourself assures freshness and the perfect balance of fat to meat.  Just ask the butcher to grind it fresh observing an 80-20 ratio. Garam marsala should be available in every spice aisle of a decent grocery store.  If you have trouble finding it try out a Middle Eastern or a yuppy grocery store.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.