STUFFED LAMB BURGER SLIDERS
Raise your hand if you like sliders? Raise again if you like lamb? Well you are in luck because this next recipe is STUFFED LAMB BURGER SLIDERS…Sliders are just in line with what we all like in appetizers, okay a little bigger but close. And to top it off, lamb— is the OTHER RED MEAT! So what is not to like? If you have been following me all this time, small bites aka tapas and appetizers are my favorite fare. This is no exception. These lamb sliders are a delicate yet a robust flavored balanced dish because lamb can be quite strong in some dishes. This is true also if you use the pure lamb tallow to cook some of the ingredients in it. Well, with this particular recipe, I made sure that all the amazing flavor of lamb meat and the lamb tallow cooked ingredients are balanced with the other ingredients. I think it just “SINGS” to the lamb lovers out there.
The first ingredient I paid attention to was the lamb meat itself. I seasoned it with fresh ground whole coriander seeds, chopped garlic cloves, vibrant mint leaves and a small amount of salt to enhance the above favors. Not to forget that these “hamburgers” are stuffed with just the right amount of goat cheese to give a slight tangy element. This goat cheese is mild but distinctive in flavor, if you have never had it. Yet it does not over-power the flavor of the lightly seasoned lamb meat. Second to the seasoned lamb burger slider is in the rest of the ingredients of this recipe. When I thought of how to make the perfect LAMB slider, I was only thinking of balance and flavor. Toasted artisan brioche buns, creamy lamb tallow (that I got from FATWORKS) caramelized onions and sautéed sliced mushrooms are next in line. To cut the fat (as we chefs say), is a cream cheese and lemon juice tzatziki style spread with fresh chopped mint that coats the toasted brioche bun. Not to mention the fresh produce like red pepper slices, micro-greens and cool cucumber “zoodles” are a great accompaniment… do I dare say, BLISS? You need to try this recipe for yourself I think. So now that you have another recipe in your SLIDER arsenal, like my STUFFED LAMB BURGER SLIDERS, enjoy my friend!
A quick shout out to my friends at FATWORKS… they absolutely ROCK!! They have provided me with this creamy and dreamy lamb fat that I have used in a couple of recipes…. see below to get your own :)
1 lb natural grass-fed ground lamb with 15% fat
1 teaspoon whole organic coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon flake salt
3 large whole unpeeled organic garlic cloves, fine chopped
1/2 teaspoon organic mint leaves, fine chopped
4 boiler onions, peel and thin sliced
2 cups thick sliced organic white mushrooms
2 teaspoons organic grass-fed ghee
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
4 ounces whole fat organic cream cheese
2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon fresh organic mint leaves, fine chopped
8 teaspoons fresh grass-fed goat cheese, separated into 1 tablespoon portions
1/2 large organic red pepper, thin julienne cut
1/2 large unpeeled organic cucumber, small spiraled or “zoodle”
1 cup fresh micro-greens
8 artisan style small single serving sized BRIOCHE buns (like dinner roll sized)
8 mint leaf tops for garnish (optional)
Put your ground lamb meat into a medium mixing bowl. In a grinder (I use an old coffee bean grinder) fine grind your whole coriander seeds and flake salt to a fine powder. Add to the lamb meat. Now add the chopped garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of chopped mint in. Mix well and allow to set up for 1 hour at room temperature. This is your lamb burger meat.
In a small non-stick frying pan, heat on medium heat, add in 1 teaspoon of the lamb tallow and allow to melt. Add in your sliced onions and caramelize, while stirring occasionally until light golden brown. Remove from the heat and reserve all. These are your caramelized onions.
In another medium non-stick frying pan, heat on medium heat and add in 1 teaspoon of the lamb tallow, the ghee and allow to melt and heat to medium heat. Add in your sliced mushrooms. While stirring often, cook until light golden brown. Add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the vermouth. Turn the heat to high. Stir often and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and reserve all. These are your sautéed mushrooms.
In a small bowl, add in the cream cheese and lemon juice. Whip until smooth. Now slowly add in the water and whip until creamy. Fold in the 1/2 teaspoon of chopped mint leaves. Cover and reserve until service. This is your tzatziki spread.
Heat your grill pan on medium high. Cut your brioche buns in half widthwise (like a hamburger bun is). Melt the remaining 1 teaspoon of lamb tallow until hot but not smoking. Dip the cut INSIDE side of the buns in the melted tallow. Grill until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat and reserve. These are your toasted brioche buns.
Break the seasoned lamb meat into 16 even pieces. Roll each in your hands to make a meatball shape. Flatten and shape into a small patty about 1/2 inch thick. On 8 of the patties place 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese into the center of those patties. Evenly place the un-cheesed (is that a word?) patties on top of the patties with the goat cheese on them. Gently press down to seal the cheese in-between the 2 patties, repeat with the remaining patties. Be sure to make a thumbprint 3/4 the way into the center of the stacked patties (this is a chef’s tip), this helps to retain the shape of the patty and to not let it puff up too much while cooking, hate that!. Reshape as needed be to about a 1/2 inch thick round patty. These are your stuffed patties.
Heat a large seasoned cast iron pan on high heat until hot, not smoking. Place your stuffed patties into the heated cast iron. Cook until brown. Use a spatula and flip to the uncooked side. Gently press down with the spatula to retain the patty shape and thickness. Continue to cook until browned. Reduce the heat to medium. Flip over again to the browned first side and cook for 2 to 3 minutes but be sure not to burn them. Remove from the heat. Cover with tin foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes. These are your cooked patties.
On your serving platter, arrange all of the BOTTOMS of the toasted brioche buns. Generously spread your tzatziki spread on this part. Evenly place the cucumber zoodles on the spread. Now layer the caramelized onions. Evenly arrange the red pepper slices on top of the onions. Now place a cooked patty on top of the pepper slices. Evenly distribute the sautéed mushrooms on top of the cooked patties. Evenly garnish with the micro-greens. Top with the TOP of the toasted brioche bun and secure with a long stainless steel or wood skewer (as shown in the pic) to hold together. Garnish tops with the mint leaf tops (optional but pretty). Serve with any remaining tzatziki spread. Eat NOW before they get cold :)
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