Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grilled Lamb Burgers Stuffed with Chevre, Kalamata Olives and Herbs

I don't know about you but when I think of lamb, Mediterranean food images pop into my head: Olives, chevre, oregano, rosemary, sun-warmed citrus.

Ground, local lamb was on the menu recently, juicy and hot off the grill. With all the flavors of those Mediterranean images infused into each burger. No catsup is needed here.

As I'm rather fond of
stuffing burgers, this is what I came up with.

Surprisingly enough, the juice from this half of a blood orange helped to blend the chevre mixture and bring all the tastes together.
Chopped, pitted kalamata olives mixed with pure white goat cheese (chevre), herbs, blood orange juice and a pinch of kosher salt.

Spread the chevre filling onto one of the lamb patties, then top with the other patty; pinch, shape, and it's ready for the grill.

Grilled Lamb Burgers Stuffed with Chevre, Kalamata Olives and Herbs
Christine's Original Recipe
1 pound ground lamb, preferrably locally raised, grass fed, divided
1/3 cup (heaping) chopped, pitted kalamata olives
4 ounces
good chevre
1 teaspoon (heaping) Italian herb blend (see Cook's Notes)
pinch kosher salt (depending on how salty the olives are)
juice from 1/2 of a blood orange
In a bowl, combine the olives, chevre and herbs and mash with a fork to blend.
Add the orange juice and continue mashing until it is fully combined and of a spreadable consistency.
Season with the kosher salt if necessary.
Divide the ground lamb in half, weighing if necessary so that each piece is 1/2-pound.
Divide each of those pieces in half again so that each now weighs 1/4-pound. (I guess I could have said that in one sentence and with fewer words, hmm?)
Pat each piece into a ball then flatten into a patty, keeping the edges rounded, 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Make each two patties the same size and shape, as you will be putting one atop the other.
Decide which patties will be on the bottom and spread about half of the chevre mixture onto that patty, spreading to within 1/2-inch of the edges.
Top with the other patty and pinch the edges together, going round and round the patty, shaping as you go along so the edges are smooth and rounded. The finished burgers can wait for a few minutes at room temperature while you start the grill.
The following grilling instructions are for a gas grill:
Heat your grill to high (450 to 500-degrees). When the grill is very hot, put the burgers on, not crowding them, and cover with the grill lid.
Immediately adjust the heat to medium-high (375 to 400-degrees). Do not open the lid, nor move the burgers, for the first 4 minutes. This allows the meat to sear and caramelize on the surface and develop sear marks, and will prevent the burgers from sticking to the grill when you flip them.
After 4 to 5 minutes, using a large spatula, loosen the burgers and give them a quarter-turn. Do not flip just yet.
Replace the lid and grill for an addional few minutes to develop those great grill marks.
Now you can flip the burgers. Repeat as above for the other side, grilling to the degree of doneness you prefer.
Transfer the burgers to a plate or cutting board and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
When you cut into the burger, the chevre-olive mixture, hot and melting, runs over the cut edges, melding with the lamb and tickling your nose with the bouquet of a hot Mediterranean summer's day.

Cook's Notes:
> Yes, sloth that I am, I used organic, dried herbs this time. But I highly recommend a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh oregano and a few teaspoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary as a better substitute. You do have both of those growing in your garden, right? Of course you do.
> There may seem to be a lot of chevre mixture for each burger, but it does melt down considerably during grilling.

Copyright © 2005-2009, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


Kalyn said...

Love the sound of this!!

vincent said...


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katiez said...

I love burgers stuffed with chevre.... I wish I could get ground lamb - this sounds sooo good!