Sunday, April 1, 2007
Lamb burgers with a Gyros crust!
Ooh, these are good.
This is my first time cooking lamb.
I asked my butcher, (a real old-fashioned butcher by the way, in a little family owned grocery store) for some ground lamb. I thought I would use it in meatloaf with some pork and beef, using the lamb as a veal replacement.
But, then I saw a lamb burger on realmeals.tv.
Have you heard of this? It's wonderful. It's both professional cooks in commercial kitchens and home cooks showing how to make their favorite dishes. Little 4 to 6 minute videos. Sorta like a food You Tube, but better.
So, I heated up my cast iron skillet. Love that pan.
Since I don't yet have a molcajete (fn1) ...must work on that...I used my knife to crush/chop fennel seed, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Then I tossed that in the ground lamb with cumin, chili powder, bit of garlic powder, bit of onion powder, and smidge of black pepper.
In honor of Mr. Maillard (fn2), I seared the heck out of the burgers. Put them in the hot oiled pan and just walked away. Okay, not far. I just stepped back from the stove. And, waited. And, opened a window and turned on the exhaust fan. And, waited. Flipped the burgers and, yep, you guessed it... waited some more.
Wow. My patience was rewarded.
After resting the burgers for 15 minutes under a foil tent, they were amazing. The burgers were tender on the inside yet had a crusty sear - where the crushed fennel, rosemary and oregano created a gyro-esque shell all along the outside of the lamb.
Yep. Lamb is good. Inexpensive, too.
1. Molcajete - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molcajete
Stone or lava mortar and pestle used by Aztec and Mayan cultures.
2. Maillard Reaction - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction
You see, when meeting with high heat, the proteins and sugars in meat get together and do a molecular mambo which kind of forms a bunch of new compounds, okay? And that is why foods that are seared, sautéed, roasted and grilled not only taste really, really good but look brown. - Alton Brown, Good Eats episode, A Chuck for Chuck