Here are some succulent little burgers with a surprise inside! Serves 2-3 people.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1-1/4 lb. ground lamb
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 red chili, chopped (or 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Leaves from 4 bushy sprigs of mint, roughly chopped
Generous pinch of salt
Generous pinch of black pepper
1/8 cup (2 oz) soft goat cheese, divided into 4 pieces
WHAT YOU DO:
Tear the lamb into 5 or 6 chunks and put into a food processor with a metal blade. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the goat cheese. Pulse several times to blend. The mixture will form a big clump, so take the lid off the processor, redistribute the meat and pulse again. Do this several times to thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Let stand for a few minutes for the flavours to mingle. Remove from the food processor and, on a cutting board, form into a thick log. (Note: the mixture will be sticky, so dampen your hands before working with it.) Cut the log into 4 thick rounds. Form each round into a patty shape, then make an indentation in the middle with your thumb. Nestle a piece of the goat cheese into the patty, then fold the rest of the meat around it, making sure to seal all the openings. Flatten again into a patty shape. Repeat with the remaining lamb.
Grill the burgers, preferably on a hot charcoal grill, for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve atop some mashed potato with a slightly sweet condiment. We served the burgers with a quince aioli, but they also pair well with mango chutney or an onion confit.
AND TO DRINK:
This dish demands a red Rhone varietal, and we opened a bottle of our 2012 Eaglepoint Cuvée Julian.