|Not the most photogenic meal ever, but mighty tasty|
So when I got given Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy for Christmas, I was really pleased to see her recipe for minted lamb burgers. After all, a minted lamb kebab is just a burger on a stick. I've been meaning to try them for ages so when I decided to make Dan Lepard's Perfect Plain Pita yesterday, these seemed like the ideal filling. Having looked for the recipe online, I was a little dubious when I found the only reference to them on this blog, but each to their own - I felt duty-bound to try them.
I've never had much luck with burgers and meatballs. I often find that the taste is lacking and all you get is that 'slab of meat' flavour. Having watched James Martin making burgers some time ago, I recently realised that it's not just about the herbs and spices you throw in that makes the difference - it's the level of seasoning (ie salt and pepper) that brings out the flavour. That's always the awkward thing with recipes. They say 'season to taste' but how can you taste a raw meat product?
|Hardly McDonald's fare|
And for once, my burgers had flavour. So that's obviously it. More salt. Exactly what we're not supposed to do. Or maybe they would've been just as tasty with a tiny pinch of salt. Now, I don't know. But I'll definitely make these again and use less salt and do the 'fry a little bit, taste, adjust seasoning' method to see just how little salt I need to get a decent flavour.
The mixture seemed a little too soft to mould onto kebab sticks. I tried to convince the husband that a minted lamb kebab is just a burger on a stick, but he's having none of it. So my next attempt will also include trying to chill them before cooking to see if they'll solidify. Also, maybe browning in a pan and then baking rather than grilling - in the same manner as the burgers are cooked - will stop the kebabs falling off the sticks.
These will be fantastic come barbecue season! I'm also using the remainder of the mixture for tomorrow's recipe of Morrocan lamb meatballs with herbed couscous. Watch this space!
Recipe - makes four generous burgers (adapted from Home Cooking Made Easy)
- 450g lamb mince
- 1 egg
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 1 large onion, peeled, grated and squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible
- small bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
- small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Divide the mixture into four and shape into patties about 2.5 cm thick (I shaped mine to fit the pita and they were really quite big)
- Fry the patties over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until browned.
- Place the browned patties onto a baking tray and bake at 220c/200c fan for 8-10 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
- Serve in buns or fresh pita breads with raita