Burgers are undeniably one of Minnesota’s most cherished foods. While we may be more well known for hot dish, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that most of us would leap over a potluck table full of casseroles for a good, juicy burger. And especially in the summer, when we can make them on the grill without breaking out a parka to do it.
While ground beef is typically the protein of choice when it comes to burgers, there are loads of other options worthy of consideration. Ground pork, ground salmon, black beans, quinoa and ground turkey can all be delicious when sandwiched in a bun.
If you’re looking for serious flavor, though, the ultimate choice is lamb.
These burgers seem to be in a different category from all the others. Much like beef, lamb needs no other flavor additives beyond salt and pepper to make a satisfying patty. Although, more so than beef, it can stand up to other assertive ingredients without getting lost in the process.
It’s easy enough to serve to your family on a weeknight and sophisticated enough to serve to friends on the weekend.
If you’ve never tried a lamb burger, this week’s Grilled Greek Lamb Burgers With Feta Yogurt Mayo would make a good first impression.
Ground lamb, which is now available in most grocery stories, is gently combined with a heady mixture of fresh mint, oregano, red onion, garlic and a hint of cinnamon before being formed into patties. As is true for any burger, if you overmix the meat, you will end up with a dense patty. That’s not the ideal outcome for a grilled burger, which stays juicier if the meat remains slightly loose in texture.
While the flavor combination may seem like a lot, it all works together in perfect harmony with a rich feta cheese, topped with yogurt mayo topping and a crunchy vegetable trio of tomato, cucumber and red onion slices.
It would be hard to pack more flavor into a hamburger bun. Even so, the lamb is what shines through without being overwhelming. Trust me, no one will be asking, “Where’s the beef?”
Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Instagram at @meredithdeeds.