In my estimation lamb is under-utilized. And I believe one of the reasons is that a lot of parents with young children think their children won’t like the taste. Well, I beg to differ. When my children were growing up, a leg of lamb was one protein source I knew would be devoured right down to the bone. And I mean this literally. (I’m pretty sure they would have gnawed on the bone if I would have let them!) They truly loved it. And really, what’s not to love? A nice bone-in piece of meat with slits all over the surface stuffed with slivered garlic and fresh rosemary. Then liberally slathered with oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and baked to a medium rare. What person of any age could resist this delicacy?
Now granted, lamb isn’t cheap. But because it’s so lean, it doesn’t shrink as much as beef either.
So attached is a recipe for ground lamb that has tons of flavor and is a good way to introduce your family to the joy that is lamb. (Of course, even if your family are already lamby pie lovers, you can fix this recipe. The flavor just won’t be as much of a pleasant surprise.) I take that back. Because of all the herbs and spices, the flavor is still going to be a pleasant surprise! So regardless of your families’ level of culinary acquaintance with baby sheep, fix this quick and easy recipe while it is still BBQing season. You won’t be sorry.
And for all you parents out there introducing your children to lamb for the first time, at least you won’t have to explain that the lamb on the table absolutely did not come from Shari Lewis’s puppet Lambchop! True story! Thanks for the memories kids. Love you mucho!
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 T. finely chopped red onion
- 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 T. dry sherry
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. ground lamb, room temperature
Combine the garlic, onion, cilantro, dry sherry, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, allspice, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Add the ground lamb and gently combine with the other ingredients. Don’t overwork the meat. Divide into 3 or 4 patties. While you are forming the patties don’t over press the meat together; just work enough so that the meat retains its shape and doesn’t fall through the grill while it is cooking. (Not good form and you will lose points if the patties fall apart on the grill!)
Place the patties on a medium hot grill and do not overcook. A little red in the middle is perfect. Let rest for 3-4 minutes before serving. Serve with Tzatziki (recipe below). Also great with Cucumbers with a Yogurt, Feta, and Dill Dressing.
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 c. plain Greek Yogurt
- 3 small or 2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
- ½ tsp. dill weed
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 English cucumber, partially peeled, seeded, and grated
Combine all ingredients. Adjust seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.