Curried Lamb Burgers with Fresh Peach Chutney and Minted Yoghurt Sauce Makes four burgers
I love lamb burgers, and this one is a doozy. Here’s my adaptation of an incredibly delicious recipe by Canadian food icon Lucy Waverman. I’ve gilded the lily by adding a fresh peach chutney and minted yoghurt sauce. Serve it with a Greek Salad or some tabbouleh (see recipe below) on the side.
For the burgers: ½ cup chopped onion ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut 1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger 1 tsp | 5 mL chopped garlic 1 Tbsp | 15 mL garam masala 1 Tbsp | 15 mL mango chutney 1 ½ pounds | 750g ground lamb Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 Tbsp | 25 mL melted butter 4 smallish pitas (the kind that can be made into pockets - you can also use naan bread or flour tortillas)
For the spiced mint butter: ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ½ cup chopped mint 1/2 tsp | 3 mL ground cumin 1/2 tsp | 3 mL ground coriander 1/2 tsp | 3 mL ground fennel 1/2 tsp | 3 mL cracked peppercorns 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt
For the peach chutney (you can substitute bought mango chutney to simplify this dish): 1 Tbsp | 15 mL sugar 1/4 cup | 50 mL rice vinegar 4 medium peaches, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch | 1 cm dice 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely grated fresh ginger
For the yogurt sauce: 11/2 tsp | 7 mL honey 11/2 tsp | 7 mL finely chopped fresh mint pinch ground cumin pinch turmeric 1 cup | 250 mL plain low-fat yogurt kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the peach chutney, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a nonreactive saucepan over moderately high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it for 1 minute. Stir in the peaches and ginger and return the chutney to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the chutney, stirring it frequently, until the fruit is softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl.
To make the yoghurt sauce, combine the honey, mint, cumin, and turmeric in a medium bowl. Whisk in the yogurt until it’s blended and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the sauce.
To make spiced mint butter (about 1/2 cup), combine butter, mint, cumin, coriander, fennel and peppercorns. Spread over top of cooked lamb burgers and sprinkle a little Maldon salt over the butter. Serves 4.
Prepare your grill for high direct cooking. Combine all the burger ingredients except lamb in a food processor and whiz them till they’re smooth. Transfer to a bowl, add the lamb, season with salt and pepper, and gently mix everything together with your hands. Before you make the patties, take a teaspoon of the mixture and fry it in a sauté pan with a little oil and taste it. If needed, incorporate some more salt and pepper.
Divide the burger mix evenly into 4 portions and shape them into 1-inch-thick patties. Brush them with melted butter and grill for 4 to 5 minutes a side or until desired doneness.
To serve, slather some of the spiced mint butter onto the burger patties, cut the burgers in half, and stuff them into pita pockets, two per person. Let your guests dress them with the condiments to their taste.
Mimi’s Tabbouleh (Couscous Salad)
Makes 8 servings as a side
This recipe from my friend Michele Allaire uses instant couscous, which is moistened by all the juices that come out of the vegetables as they sit with the grain in the fridge. It is usually served as a side with lamb but can be an attractive alternative main course for a vegetarian guest. To “beef” it up, add blanched green beans, blanched carrots, and cooked chick peas.
1 package (about 10 oz | 300 g) instant couscous 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1 Tbsp | 15 mL red onion cut into 1/4-inch | 5 mm dice 1 cup | 250 mL long English cucumber cut into 1/4-inch | 5 mm dice 1/2 red or green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch | 5 mm dice 1 cup | 250 mL fresh tomato cut into 1/4-inch | 5 mm dice 1 cup | 250 mL chopped fresh parsley 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped fresh mint 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt 1/2 tsp | 10 mL freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp | 15 mL ground cumin 4 Tbsp | 60 mL lemon juice 1 cup | 250 mL good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Pour the entire package of uncooked couscous into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, mix them together well, and let the tabbouleh sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Remove it from the fridge at least 1 hour before serving. Mix it again, taste it, and adjust the seasoning and oil to taste.