Lamb Burger with Molten Chevre Core
We eat so much ground beef that we almost forget what beef tastes like. When you eat a lamb burger you actually taste the lamb and it makes for a deliciously different grilling experience. The goat cheese stuffing adds an orgiastic twist. Don’t forget to freeze the goat cheese!
1 t. ground cumin
1 c. plain Greek full-fat yogurt
1 T. finely chopped mint
1/3 long English cucumber, seeded and finely grated
1-1/2 lbs ground lamb
2 T. chopped fresh mint
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 oz softened chèvre, rolled into a log, frozen and sliced into 4 1/2-inch discs
2 T. softened herbed butter (see Beef Burger with Herbed Butter Core)
Freshly ground black pepper
To Finish the Burgers
Softened butter blended with minced fresh herbs (mint, basil or parsley)
2 large rounds of fresh pita bread
Fresh sliced tomatoes
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 bunch arugula, washed and dried
To Make the Tzatziki
Dry-fry the ground cumin over medium heat for 30 seconds, or until it becomes fragrant and browns slightly. Transfer it to a bowl, add the yogurt, mint and cucumber and mix thoroughly. Cover the tzatziki and refrigerate it until it’s needed.
Gently mix the lamb with the mint, oregano, salt and a few grindings of pepper in a bowl with your hands. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and shape them into balls. Make a hole in each ball and insert a disc of frozen goat cheese. Carefully seal each hole with meat and shape the meat into burgers. Season the outside of the burgers with salt and pepper. Preheat your grill to medium and brush it with oil.
Grill the burgers 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reads 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. Take the burgers off the grill and spread a thin layer of the herbed butter on top of each one (or brush with olive oil). Let them rest 3 to 4 minutes. Just before you’re ready to serve the burgers, toast the pitas on the grill for 10 to 15 seconds per side. Cut the pitas in half, open them up, and stuff the burgers inside. Dress them with the tomatoes, onion, arugula and tzatziki. Serves 4.