A few weeks ago, Beth and I were watching the Food Network, as we do from time to time. While we were waiting for Alton Brown to come on so that Beth could obsess over him, we saw a commercial for a restaurant that serves lamb burgers. Actually, it was a show called The Best Thing I Ever Ate, but it’s essentially a half-hour long commercial (with breaks for smaller commercials, of course). I’ve mentioned my love of eating baby sheep before, so once I got the idea for a lamb burger in my head, I knew I had to try it out. Beth and I decided that Valentine’s Day would be a perfect time for the experiment as part of a fancified dinner. She made popovers as an appetizer and brioche buns from scratch, and I supplied the burgers.
I used one pound of ground lamb, which took a little hunting to find at the store, along with two cloves of minced garlic and a teaspoon of salt, to make three patties, which I grilled for about 4-5 minutes per side. This brought the burgers to what I would call medium well. My most important insight, however, was that some homemade pesto would complement the lamb well, so I prepared a batch of Naked Chef pesto to spread on top of the burgers. I also roasted some potatoes and drizzled them with a little truffle oil to produce some fancified fries.
The results were delicious. Unfortunately, I had eaten a few too many of the popovers beforehand, so one burger left me uncomfortably full. Still, the flavors of the lamb and the pesto mixed well together, and the leftover burgers were still good the next day. The buns were perhaps a little too thick but also delicious, and the hint of truffle oil enhanced the taste of the potatoes. All in all, I think the dish would have landed us solidly in the middle of Top Chef. Perhaps Fabio should have used our recipe to avoid elimination. Or perhaps I should just leave the professional chef-ing to the professionals.
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