Robin Ludington: May 2008 Archives

Pistachio-Crusted Lamb Burger These are easy to prep and easy to impress. The pistachio spice rub adds lots of flavor and the aioli mellows the heat. Mint and ripe grape tomatoes make this a fresh and satisfying meal. However, I wouldn't recommend them for a "first date"... unless you consider seeing your companion with half a burger shoved into their mouth exciting.

A great wine pairing for this would be a White Burgundy, a Sauvignon Blanc, or a steel-fermented Chardonnay of some kind. Your date likes beer instead? How about a Pilsner or Hefeweizen?

Pistachio-Crusted Lamb Burgers

24 oz ground lamb (or 18oz lamb stew meat and 6 oz ground pork)
1 cup pistachios (shelled)
1 tsp fresh ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp fresh ground coriander
pinch cayenne
salt and pepper
olive oil

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 small sweet onion, sliced
handful of fresh mint
handful of flat leaf parsley
2 tsp raw sugar
2 lemons, zest and juice

1/4 cup mayo
1 clove garlic, minced

4 rolls (potato, brioche, or other sweet roll)

  1. combine tomatoes, onion, torn mint, torn parsley, 2 Tbl olive oil, juice of one lemon, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a medium bowl; allow to rest at room temperature
  2. mix mayo, zest of 2 lemons, juice of 1 lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a small serving dish; set aside
  3. pour pistachios into a seal-top bag and smash till ground coarse (I recommend a rolling pin) or use a fancy food processor; add spices and spread out on a plate
  4. heat a 10-12" skillet on med-high heat
  5. if ground lamb is unavailable you can grind lamb stew meat in a food processor till medium-coarse, then combine with ground pork; form 4 patties, approximately 6oz each and season with salt and pepper; press into the pistachio mixture to coat
  6. add about 3 Tbl olive oil to the skillet; place burgers in pan (don't overcrowd) press and cover very loosely with a lid to avoid splatter; cook approx 5 min or till deeply browned; flip and finish 4 min (check for doneness here- medium to medium-rare is preferable for good quality lamb); remove to a paper towel to rest
  7. halve and toast rolls if desired; spread aioli on both sides, place your burger, add the salad on top, and serve with a large napkin.

Pistachio-Crusted Lamb Burger