I live in a rural area where the code amongst neighbors is strong and firm: you do not ever show up empty handed, ever. We’re blessed with the sort of neighbors whose hands are frequently full of delicious lamb, locally raised and generously shared. We took advantage of our wealth one night and dined on lamb burgers, packed with wine-soaked currants, a hefty amount of garlic, and served it on our homemade hobo bread with smoked paprika mayo, fresh spinach and grilled onions. We ate, and were happy. Here are the details.
**Perhaps I should mention that we helped prepare this particular morsel with our former employers a few weeks ago. I tweaked a little to my liking, but felt I should give the proper nod to Ciao Thyme Catering in Bellingham, Washington.
You’ll need some amount of ground lamb.
A good handful of currants.
Several, or fewer, cloves of garlic, slivered or minced.
Salt and pepper
A good slug of some sort of red wine.
In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer and add the currants. You’ll want the wine to reduce until the currants have absorbed most of the liquid. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, just to take the edge off. Remove from heat and let cool before you add it to the lamb. Don’t forget your salt and pepper!
Sear in a skillet (if your lamb is anything likes ours you won’t need any additional fat in the pan) or over a medium hot grill. We tossed some sliced onions onto our griddle and let them brown nicely while the lamb cooked.
As for the smoked paprika mayo: If you don’t have a little tin of smoked paprika in your life you need one. Not just some forgotten garnish for deviled eggs, smoked paprika is a little like powdered bacon. Smoky, spicy and warm, it is soo delicious stirred into mayo, homemade or otherwise. It does wonders for beans and grains, especially if perhaps you love bacon and smoked pork products but understand that your regular consumption of these morsels may not be in your best interest.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate smoked paprika into our lives is sprinkled onto roasted or fried sweet potatoes. Yes, yes!!
Other lamb burger ideas: Drizzle with homemade tzatziki…lemon aioli and arugula…slivered fennel and roasted peppers….other ideas?